Clock ticking for Mandaue, Cebu City to coordinate reroute schemes
Complaints continue to mount about “unbearable traffic” in Mandaue City where nine ongoing road projects by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) started in summer.
At least four of them have completion dates in January 2016 yet.
Plaridel Street, a major route taken by those heading to Mactan for the airport, beach resorts or work in the export processing zone, has two sections being rehabilitated by Jegma Construnction and Dev. Corp. and PLD Consruction with target completion dates in January next year.
With the simultaneous road work going on, what relief can passengers and motorists look forward to?
Mandaue city traffic planners earlier announced a 60-day one-way scheme in S.B. Cabahug Street and J.P. Burgos to start in August.
Whether that is enough to ease the gridlocks that are wasting time and productivity of thousands of motorists and communters stuck in traffic remains to be seen.
What ordinary motorists and passengers want to know is whether private contractors can speed up the pace, as some diggings look idle with no workers in the daytime.
In Cebu city, where traffic has also intensified, the Cebu City Traffic Operations Management (Citom), said it wil try a rerouting scheme that makes the whole length of Pope John Paul II Avenue (formerly Juan Luna Avenue) off limits to jeepneys at peak hours in August and September when meetings of the Asian Pacific Economic Forum (APEC) will be held.
A dry run has yet to be scheduled.
The clock is ticking for transport and traffic officials to figure out how to ensure smooth road movements by August 2 for the Ironman 70.3 international triathlon, and Aug. 23, the first of a series of APEC meetings.
Asked if Cebu city and Mandaue city leaders have sat down to coordinate rerouting plans, Rafael Yap, executive director of Citom said this will likely be on Friday.
On Friday, organizers for the APEC summit’s Cebu leg will conduct a final meeting for preparations at the Capitol.
“Rerouting is the only scheme that we have today because we cannot expand the roads immediately,” said Arnel Tancinco, regional director of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) – Central Visayas.
Reynaldo Elnar, regional director of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB-7), agreed, saying it requires public consultation.
He said the local government unit (LGU) should take charge of this since it can best identify the affected areas. Operators and the public utility drivers should also be present.
Both agencies will be assisting the CITOM and Traffic Enforcement Agency of Mandaue (TEAM) for any rerouting scheme.
Glenn Antigua, acting chief of TEAM, said they are prepared to handle Plaridel Street and M.C. Briones Street where APEC delegates are expected to pass.
“We are confident there will be no traffic there. As long as there is proper coordination to and frond the airport, there will be no traffic,” he said.
August 2, a Sunday, is the Ironman 70.3 triathlon, whose cycling race will use the Fernan Bridge and Plaridel Street. The street will be closed from 4 a.m to 2 p.m. for that Sunday.
But Plaridel Street will not be closed to other vehicles on other days for the summit, said Antigua.
“The DPWH 6th Engineering District assured that they would finish the portion they are are working on. Then at the intersection, they will put an overlay so that the site is still be passable,” he said.
Engr. Crebenan Jumula of PLD Construction, contractor of a P45.2 million segment in Plaridel Street, was careful about making a specific promise.
“Dili ko katubag ug oo or dili pero amo paningkamutan (I cannot say yes or no but we will try very hard to finish it),” he said in a text message.
TEAM personnel will monitor the route through Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras installed in traffic lights.
Two personnel will guide traffic in each of 12 intersections which delegates will pass, said Antigua.
Asked how traffic congestion will be addressed in Mandaue city, Antigua could only say TEAM is fielding their personnel guide traffic flow.
The DPWH 6th Engineering District has nine projects in Mandaue City.
These projects are located in A. S Fortuna St., M.L Quezon St., Hernan Cortes St., J.P Rizal St., H. Abellana St., Plaridel St. (near Cansaga), Plaridel St. (near Tita Gwapa), A.C Cortes St. and A.S Fortuna St.
Antigua said another project was set to start in Burgos St. but Mandaue asked the DPWH to postpone it because APEC delegates may pas the area.
The Mandaue city government has two of its own ongoing road projects in P. Sanchez St. in barangay Pagsabungan and Echavez St. in barangay Maguikay.
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