CCTO reroutes traffic away from fire-hit Metro Ayala building

By: Nestle L. Semilla January 07,2018 - 10:23 PM

Moderate to heavy traffic is expected today on the streets surrounding the Ayala Center Cebu mall complex at the Cebu Business Park (CBP), Cebu City’s premier business and commercial hub.

Traffic rerouting has to be done because of the continued closure of the two streets within the CBP that are within the vicinity of the Metro Ayala department store, which was hit by a fire on Friday and continued to be burning up to late last night, according to the Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO).

Francisco Ouano, CCTO operations chief, said Bohol Avenue and Luzon Avenue were closed since January 5, since both streets were used by fire trucks and other firefighting equipment.

Ouano said yesterday, they would assess by today when they would be able to open up both roads, amid a still ongoing clean up and final dousing of the fire that had gutted Metro Ayala, a six-storey building that has eight levels including its two basements.

Ouano said heavy congestion was experienced along Ayala access roads and Archbishop Reyes Street on Saturday because of the thick smoke that came from the burning building. However, traffic was manageable on Sunday because there were no classes and work.

With work and classes resuming by today, the CCTO was expecting heavy traffic, necessitating a more coherent rerouting scheme to keep the vehicles passing through and around the business park moving.

Under the rerouting scheme, public utility jeeps (PUJs) plying the Talamban (13C) and Labangon (12L) routes that used to pass through Luzon Ave. would now have to pass the highway in Archbishop Reyes Street.

Ouano urged the riding public, especially those bound for Ayala Center or the CBP, to be more patient.

He also cautioned impatient drivers as they could cause accidents that would only add to the traffic congestion in the area.

Ouano said they would also need to coordinate with Bureau of Fire Protection in Central Visayas (BFP-7) to determine when they could reopen the two roads as they would not want to hamper the operation of the firefighters.

BFP-7 regional director Senior Supt. Samuel Tadeo said they would need to inspect the building first before deciding on when to open the roads surrounding Metro Ayala since there was a possibility that the building of Metro Ayala would collapse.

He advised the public not to go near the building.

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