Expansion of road approved to save structures-A A +A
Saturday, July 14, 2012
AFTER four consultations, some families are still not satisfied with the plan to widen M.J. Cuenco Avenue.
Former congressman Raul del Mar said that to accommodate the families who fear the road widening will take out a large chunk of their structures, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7 will just implement a 17-meter road widening.
DPWH Cebu City District Engineer Nicomedes Leonor Jr. said the original plan was to widen the road by 20 meters. Sidewalks were supposed to be two-and-a-half meters on each side.
To accommodate the families, only a one-meter sidewalk for both sides will be in place.
The M.J. Cuenco Ave. might not have sidewalks at all in the area where two 100-year-old houses might be considered heritage sites.
The Querubin and Ancajas families have applied for a declaration of their houses as heritage sites before the National Heritage Institute and the Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission (CHAC).
CHAC has forwarded its favorable recommendation to the Cebu City Council.
But at least three more property owners in the area, particularly in Barangay Mabolo, are concerned about their delayed invitation and because the latest survey showed that a big part of their properties will be affected by the road widening.
Alain Po and Lucita Tan complained that the consultation yesterday was the first time
they were invited.
Po’s commercial and residential structure will be affected by over two meters while Tan, who owns a pet shop, will have a cut of about 3.4 meters from just 3.2 meters.
There were fewer than a hundred people present during yesterday’s consultation and Po believes it is not representative of the number of structures that will actually be affected.
According to DPWH, 366 structures will be affected by the road widening.
Del Mar said that after three previous consultations, some families were already satisfied with the explanation of DPWH and the former congressman, which is probably why some did not attend the consultation anymore.
“Others not here are already okay. You tell me who’s not here and we will look for them,” del Mar told Po.
Lawyer Amparo Orot, though, lamented that a previous consultation was held at a private residence and she feared some “magic” might happen there so she did not attend.
Del Mar said all meetings starting yesterday will be held at the Mabolo Sports Complex to prevent apprehensions.
Del Mar assured consultations will continue until all problems will be threshed out.
Po later told reporters the road widening in Mabolo is not an immediate concern because the City is still facing problems like drainage and traffic problems that can be solved through rerouting and opening of access roads.
“If the road is widened, Mabolo will lose its identity,” he said in jest.
The road widening will cover three barangays—Carreta, Hipodromo and Mabolo.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 14, 2012.