SECRETARY Mark Villar of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said Tuesday, December 19, that more infrastructure projects will be implemented in Bacolod City within the term of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Villar, who led the inauguration of the Araneta-Magsaysay flyover in Bacolod City on Tuesday, said that Bacolod is lucky to have city officials facilitating the infrastructure projects for the city.
He said the city officials led by Representative Greg Gasataya, Mayor Evelio Leonardia, Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran and members of the City Council have a vision to improve and develop the city.
“We fast-tracked the flyover so that all the Bacoleños will be happy this Christmas. We assure (them) that this is only the start and we have more projects to be implemented here,” Villar added.
Villar, along with Undersecretary Emil Sadain, Gasataya, Leonardia, Familiaran, Councilors Cindy Rojas and Bartolome Orola, and District Engineer Abraham Villareal, led the ceremonial drive-through and inspection of the flyover.
The Araneta Street-Magsaysay Avenue flyover, located in the southern part of Bacolod, has a total project cost of P365 million, which was converted into economic construction cost of P321.2 million, using the standard economic conversion factors. The DPWH allotted P32.008 million for civil works.
The flyover is a double-lane pavement with five spans of modular steel technology of Matierre S.A.S. under the French Government assistance program, four piers with a total length of 195 lineal meters, and road approaches of 280 meters.
In 2011, the city’s first flyover was constructed along Lacson Street in Barangay Bata at the northern portion of the city.
Villar said the DPWH is conducting a feasibility study for additional flyovers in Bacolod to decongest the traffic situation.
“It is just a start and Bacoleños will expect more projects here. We will wait for the result of the feasibility study to implement the projects in 2018 or 2019,” he said.
Meanwhile, Villar said the DPWH will also fast-track the construction of the Bacolod-Economic Highway (BEH) because Bacolod needs a new road opening.
He added that it is one of their major projects in the city, and the BEH is seen to declog roads like from Silay-Bacolod Airport toward Bacolod.
Every year, the DPWH will allot a budget to finish the BEH before the term of President Duterte ends, Villar said.
The DPWH has started the initial construction of BEH from Barangay Sum-ag to Barangay Cabug.
The 21-kilometer BEH will cover areas across Barangays Sum-ag, Cabug, Felisa, Handumanan, Mansilingan, Estefania, Granada, Mandalagan, and Bata.
The DPWH committed to finish the entire BEH project in three years.
Villar noted that Bacolod is one of the recipients of the “golden age” infrastructure program of President Duterte.
“President Duterte has a vision and political will for the success of the ‘golden age’ infrastructure program. Let us support him because he has a good plan for Negros Island especially Bacolod because he saw the potential of the city. He loves Negros so expect more projects here,” he said.
Villar added that Bacolod needs to invest in infrastructure to realize its potentials.
Gasataya said he is very grateful to the national government for the construction of the flyover.
He said the road structure will not only help ease the traffic situation in the area, but more so as a mega structure in the southern part of Bacolod that will help boost the city’s economy.
For his part, Leonardia said he is thankful for the presence of Villar to the opening of the flyover.
“This flyover project is a dream come true. We envisioned it to ease the traffic volume of a growing metropolis. It is expected to contribute to the economic stimulation and modernization of infrastructure facilities in the city,” he added.
Published in the SunStar Bacolod newspaper on December 20, 2017.
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