‘KNOW THE OTHER ROUTES’

By Rosalie O. Abatayo July 08,2018

SUNDAY commuters in Barangay Mambaling, Cebu City decide to walk after waiting for hours and still failing to get jeepney rides bound for the southern part of Cebu due to the heavy traffic between Mambaling and Barangay Pardo proper on Sunday, July 8, 2018, the eve of the official closure of the northbound lane of N. Bacalso Ave. to pave the way for phase 4 of the Mambaling underpass project.

GETTING AROUND THE TRAFFIC JAM ON N. BACALSO AVE.

Even with the closure of the northbound lane of N. Bacalso Avenue in Barangay Mambaling starting today, the traffic situation can be eased if the public will know when and where to pass.

Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) chief Francisco Ouano advised the public to take note of the new traffic scheme and the available alternate routes in going to and from Cebu City to prevent jamming of vehicles in small access roads.

Ouano said the traffic gridlock observed on Saturday’s dry run after they closed the northbound lane of N. Bacalso Ave. was because the public did not know which roads to take.

On Saturday, the dry run caused heavy traffic, both heading to and from the city, in Tagunol, Cabreros, Tres de Abril, and Katipunan Streets.

“Most of them did not know that the southbound portion of N. Bacalso was already open. So they opted to still pass by the small access roads making the traffic really heavy in those areas,” said Ouano.

New routing schedules

Seeing the monstrous traffic caused by the road closure on Saturday, Ouano said the CCTO is already formulating ways to mitigate it.

“By 11:30 p.m. (Saturday), I visited the area (Tagunol Street) and I instructed them to do the traffic signaling manually. Until this morning (Sunday), we’re doing it manually because we saw that the traffic really improved this way,” he said.

Ouano said the CCTO decided to retain the old traffic scheme used during phases 2 and 3 of the underpass project, rather than the scheme used during the dry run last Saturday and yesterday, Sunday.

As the closure of the northbound lane to pave way for phase 4 of the project starts today, Ouano

advised the public that all traffic bound north will be accommodated in the newly opened southbound lane of N. Bacalso Avenue.

The southbound traffic shall still use the access roads through Flash Elorde Street and E. Sabellano Street and back to the highway via F. Llamas in Punta Princesa, or through Tagunol Street and turn via Cabreros Street to go back to the unaffected portion of N. Bacalso.

CCTO initially planned to accommodate the north and southbound traffic alternately in the single-lane southbound portion of the road.

Supposedly, northbound traffic will be allowed entry from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. while southbound traffic will access N. Bacalso from 2 p.m. until 6 a.m. the
following day.

But in a statement released on Sunday evening, Ouano said the planned traffic scheme caused confusion among the motorists during the dry run.

Hence, they decided to scrap it and retained the previous traffic scheme.

Roy Dela Cruz, Department of Public Works and Highways in Central Visayas (DPWH-7) project engineer for the underpass, said this arrangement would last within three to four months.

Dela Cruz appealed to the public to be more patient despite the traffic woes.

He said that once phase 4 is completed, the north and southbound lanes will both be passable.

SRP route

Meanwhile, motorists coming from Talisay City and other areas in southern Cebu may also choose to take the Cebu South Coastal Road (CSCR) in the South Road Properties (SRP).

Traffic in CSCR is expected to be lighter as the rehabilitation of Mananga Bridge 3 has been completed yesterday, July 8.

DONE AND PASSABLE An inspector from the construction company that rehabilitated Mananga Bridge 3 ( Cebu South Coastal Road) checks their work after they cleaned up the bridge of traffic barriers following the completion of its repair on Sunday, July 8, 2018.

Erik Alvar, engineering assistant of Quirante Construction, said they worked double time to complete the repair on the southbound portion of the bridge in order to alleviate the traffic situation on N. Bacalso Ave.

Private vehicles going to and from Cebu City are encouraged to take the CSCR to mitigate the traffic situation on the main highway.

Meanwhile, the management of the Cebu South Bus Terminal (CSBT) said their operation remained normal, albeit with expected travel time delays because of the congestion along N. Bacalso Ave. and the ongoing road repair in Barangay Perrelos, Carcar City.

Herrera said the terminal recorded an average of 600 to 650 bus trips a day, ferrying about 24,000 passengers on a daily basis. /WITH CORRESPONDENT JESSA MAE O. SOTTO

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