RDC-7 wants DED study for Cebu City flyovers suspended
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Regional Development Council in Central Visayas (RDC-7) is asking the regional Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH-7) to temporarily suspend the Detailed Engineering Design (DED) study of the flyovers planned in Cebu City.
The regional Infrastructure Development Council (IDC-7) has recommended that the DPWH-7 study alternative solutions first for the traffic at Natalio Bacalso Avenue and P. Del Rosario Street where a 1.1-kilometer and 1.2-kilometer flyovers are planned to be built, respectively.
The Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners (PIEP) Cebu Chapter presented arguments in their position paper stating that the projects will eliminate the possibility of the “much-needed” rail-based mass transit system on the affected roadways.
They said that the flyovers will adversely affect the image of Cebu City as a historical city and will fail to decongest the traffic as it “merely transfer road congestion to other areas.”
IDC-7 chairperson, Gordon Alan “Dondi” Joseph, presented the concerns of the stakeholders during the 2nd quarter RDC-7 full council meeting on Friday, June 18, 2021.
Joseph noted that there had been a previous recommendation by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to solve the traffic in Metro Cebu, but none of the recommendations were followed through by the DPWH-7.
“The only solution to this traffic problem that is presented to us is always related to flyovers and none of which prove to be effective in the past and which are very costly,” said Joseph in the council meeting.
He said that in other countries, flyovers are placed outside the cities and not in the middle of the city as proposed by the DPWH-7 in the said areas.
With this, IDC-7 has recommended that DPWH-7, for now, suspend the DED pending the submission of the status of the DED to date, the profiles of the consultants, and alternative design solutions to the vehicular traffic problem experienced in N. Bacalso and P. Del Rosario Streets.
The DPWH-7 is also asked to review existing studies on traffic management and solution in Metro Cebu such as the Metro Cebu Land Use and Transport Study, Roadmap Study for Urban Developments in Macro Cities, and the JICA transport study for Mega Cebu.
The IDC-7 also recommended expediting the implementation of mass transit projects and prioritize building bypass roads and road linkages in the city.
The RDC-7 has approved the resolutions of the IDC and will be sending the request to the DPWH-7.
DPWH-7 Regional Director Edgar Tabacon said in the council meeting that the DED study being conducted by the contractor, CEDCO, will also include the possibility of other alternative solutions to flyovers in the area.
“In that DED, we also include in the scope work for the consultants the other options not only the flyover. Of course, like what we did in past flyovers, we will implement first the widening,” said Tabacon.
The DPWH-7 assured that with the RDC-7’s request, they will revisit the feasibility studies for the traffic solutions in the two areas. /rcg
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