Third bridge more expensive than BRT-A A +A
Saturday, March 2, 2013
A THIRD bridge would be more expensive than the proposed P10-billion Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system, Rep. Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City, south) said.
Osmeña criticized the suggestion of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama for a third bridge, which has been included in the Regional Development Council (RDC) list of projects.
He said, if the BRT system was shut down at the National Economic Development Authority (Neda) board because of its cost, how much more the third bridge?
Osmeña said a proposed third bridge would cost between P15 billion and P20 billion.
Osmeña's suggestion to improve traffic in Cebu is a roll-on roll-off (roro) port at Shell Island in Cordova, which would dock at the Malacañg sa Sugbo, Compania Maritima or Pier 1 and then vice versa.
But Rama said, "When typhoon comes, roro would have to be stopped."
Rama said a roro is more for tourism than for means of public transportation.
Rama said he was no longer surprised with Osmeña's statement because the congressman has never agreed with any of his suggestions and that the congressman believes he has monopoly of brilliance.
Osmeña questioned Rama's statement that a bridge linking Cordova and Cebu City was first brought to the table in 1992 because at that time, there was no South Road Properties (SRP).
The proposed bridge was supposed to be at the SRP.
There was no need for SRP's existence when the bridge was proposed in the early 1990s, said Rama, because a reclamation can be integrated in the entire project.
The BRT, Osmeña's pet project, failed to get approval from Neda board because there were questions about the system. However, Cebu City is not prevented from seeking approval from the board again.
Osmeña said the BRT will help solve the traffic problem in the entire Metro Cebu.
His idea includes a BRT system from the SRP to the airport, one inside the SRP and another in Cebu City, which is being pushed by the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC).
SM is even willing to fund the BRT inside the SRP. SM Prime Holdings Inc. is a locator at the SRP.
Osmeña said he was a party to the inclusion of the Marcelo Fernan bridge as among the priority projects of the country during the administration of the late President Corazon Aquino.
It was his cousin, former governor Lito Osmeña, who managed to convince the Neda head to include a second bridge that would link Mactan Island and mainland Cebu in the short list of priority projects of the National Government.
But the congressman said he flew to Japan to talk to the head of Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund (OECF) to fund the second bridge despite not having a feasibility study.
This is why Osmeña knew there was no bridge proposal linking Cordova and Cebu City in 1992.
Osmeña said a bridge would need a very high inclination considering that some vessels are as large as a 10-story building.
But Rama said an undersea tunnel, as proposed by former congressman Raul del Mar and Rep. Rachel Marguerite del Mar (Cebu City, north), would also mean that the structure have to be about 50-feet below because of the large vessels that would pass through.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 02, 2013.