Tomas wants 40 policemen deployed to Mambaling to help ease traffic

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram, USJR Intern July 09,2018 - 10:12 PM


TO HELP ease traffic congestion, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña has requested the deployment of at least 40 policemen near the multimillion peso underpass project along N. Bacalso Avenue.

In a press conference on Monday, Osmeña said the police would have to do its part to address the problem.

“Traffic management is not a function of the city government. It is a police function,” he said.

Senior Supt. Royina Garma, Cebu City Police Office director, said she instructed the mobile traffic group to assist the CCTO.

“We want to help manage the traffic flow in Mambaling,” she said.

No figures had been given yet as to how many policemen were deployed in the area.

At present, at least 12 personnel of the Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) have been deployed in different areas in Barangay Mambaling, Cebu City, to help man the traffic.

But the number of traffic enforcers in the area is apparently not enough.

“Our traffic enforcers are having a hard time. This is a crisis. I hope we get help from the police. We have gone beyond saturation point. We are experimenting on all kinds of schemes. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t work,” Osmeña said.

Heavy traffic was experienced in multiple areas near the underpass project in Mambaling as the northbound lane of N. Bacalso Avenue was closed on Monday.

With traffic congestion, the usual commute that takes 10 to 15 minutes has stretched to an hour or two.

Traffic is severe in the access roads where southbound vehicles pass.

The northbound lane will not be available for vehicular traffic for the next three months.

Francisco Ouano, CCTO chief, said Monday’s traffic was better compared to what the motorists experienced over the weekend during the two-day dry run.

“Heavy traffic is expected in access roads such as Tagunol and E. Sabellano Streets due to the rush hour. We also expect the same thing in the afternoon,” he said.

Ouano said he was hoping that the traffic flow in the area would improve in the coming days.

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 Sunday.

As the northbound lane of N. Bacalso Avenue was closed for the phase 4 of the underpass project, all northbound traffic were accommodated in the newly opened southbound lane.

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

Engr. Roy Dela Cruz, project engineer of the Department of Public Works and Highways in Central Visayas (DPWH-7), appealed to the public to be patient, saying Phase 4 was already the last part of the underpass project that could affect vehicular traffic.

Phase 4 also involves concreting the northbound lane of the road beside the underpass.

Based on the design, the entire project will be 700 meters long. But the actual underpass or technically referred to as a “depressed structure,” will be only 620 meters with a vertical clearance of 5.2 meters.

The underpass will have a sump tank, which will store runoff water so rainwater will not flow to the depressed portion.

The stored water will then be pumped into the drainage line, which is among the components of the project.

Upon completion, the depressed portion will have two lanes — one going southbound and another, northbound.

This will accommodate vehicles going from Cebu City to the south and vice versa while passing straight through N. Bacalso Avenue.

On each side of the depressed portion are the existing two-lane streets which can accommodate vehicles that will turn to or come from F. Llamas Street. The underpass project began construction in August 2017.

But aside from motorists and commuters, business sector was also complaining.

An owner of a tire and battery shop located along N. Bacalso Ave., who requested anonymity, said the traffic forced him to look for other place to do business.

“That is really my plan now, to just close. Since December, I put up a tarp to advertise the store space but only less than five (persons) inquired and nobody pushed through.

We are really affected by the project,” said the owner.

Another businessman, who also refused to divulge his identity, lamented that his two-storey commercial complex had not been earning since construction of the underpass started.

“The way I see it, these businesses are just trying to hold on until they can. But I really expect that they will soon pull out or request for us to waive their rental fees since they are not getting any customers anymore,” he told CDN.

Dela Cruz said the underpass was expected to be completed by March 2019. / USJR Intern Delta Letigio with reports from Nestle L. Semilla and Jose Santino S. Bunachita

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TAGS: 40, deployed, ease, help, Mambaling, policemen, Tomas, traffic, wants

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