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Tumulak to DPWH: Don’t close northbound lane yet

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram June 04,2018 - 10:22 PM

CEBU City Councilor Dave Tumulak is urging the Department of Public Works and Highways in Central Visayas (DPWH–7) to forego its plans of closing the northbound lane of N. Bacalso Ave., so as not to bring additional inconvenience to motorists, especially now that classes for academic year 2018 have just started.

DPWH–7 engineers are expected to proceed to Phase 4 of the P638-million underpass project being constructed on N. Bacalso Ave. in the third week of June.

To do so, they will need to close the northbound lane of the busy highway.

“Right after pag-open sa klase sa college, anha sila mag-close. Hangyo sad nato sa DPWH ayaw sa isara ang northbound lane. Tan-awon sa nato unsay effects labi na nga opening of classes na gyud,” said Tumulak. (They plan to close the northbound lane when classes in the college level start. So we’re requesting DPWH not to close it yet. We will have to assess the effects of the closure especially that classes have already resumed).

For his part, DPWH–7 Project Engineer Roy dela Cruz told Cebu Daily News in a phone interview that they are planning to prioritize completing the underpass’ main structure to give northbound vehicles access on N.Bacalso Ave. even if work will start for Phase 4.

In Phase 4, the southbound lane of the highway, which was closed for Phase 3, will be opened to traffic.

On the other hand, the main structure of the underpass project — which connects both the north and southbound lanes — will provide northbound vehicles access to F. Llamas Street.

“In fact, our plan is to complete first the main structure between Shopwise and Metro Gaisano so that those going north will not be completely cut off,” said dela Cruz adding that there’s no definite schedule yet when to close the northbound lane.

“We have talked with Councilor Dave on this matter but we’re still going to submit our formal letter containing our plans,” added dela Cruz.

He also said that their suggestion will still need the approval and insights of the Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO).

“We’re still coming up with the final schedule for a formal meeting with CCTO and Councilor Tumulak on the matter,” dela Cruz added.

As of press time, DPWH–7 and the contractor of the N. Bacalso Ave., underpass project, WT Construction Inc., are now wrapping up Phase 3.
Phases 3 and 4 involve excavation works for the P638-million, four-lane project to allow the installation of rails.

Traffic plan

The traffic plan suggested by Tumulak and dela Cruz include diverting northbound vehicles either to Tagunol or Cabreros Streets; closing the southbound lane of N. Bacalso Ave. every 6 to 9 in the morning to give way to northbound traffic; or diverting vehicles bound for Talisay City to Caimito, Sabellano, and Macopa Streets.

“And from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., N. Bacalso will be opened to vehicles from the city proper, going south,” Tumulak added.

The construction of the underpass project, which started in 2017, has affected commuters from the southern barangays of Cebu City, including Basak San Nicolas, Basak Pardo, Mambaling, Punta Princesa, Quiot Pardo, Poblacion Pardo, Cogon Pardo, and Bulacao.

Tumulak said the city government is ready to deploy at least 15 Kaohsiung buses to ferry stranded passengers during the morning and afternoon rush hours once Phase 4 starts.

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TAGS: close, don’t, DPWH, lane, northbound, Tumulak

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