Firms told: Fix Cebu’s flyovers-A A +A
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
CEBU CITY - Mayor Michael Rama wants to tap the private sector in improving the safety features of flyovers in the city.
He brought up the idea after the City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) found in their safety audit that the city’s flyovers pose some danger to motorists.
This, as the mayor said he also wants Citom to make the Cebu South Coastal Road (CSCR) safer.
For the flyovers, Rama said that while their maintenance is under the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), he wants the help of the private sector so the improvements can be implemented immediately.
“We want to do something on our end (by tapping the private sector) kay maayo ra ba kaayo na mobalibad ang DPWH (especially since DPWH is very good at refusing),” he said in his regular news conference on Monday.
Rama said, though, that the City Government will also do its share if the City has enough resources.
Citom earlier found several defects in the city’s four flyovers – the Banilad flyover located at the junction of Juan Luna Ave. and A.S. Fortuna St., the flyover at the junction of Juan Luna Ave. and Archbishop Reyes Ave., the flyover at the junction of N. Escario St., and the Archbishop Reyes Ave, and the Mambaling flyover in Barangay Mambaling.
Citom said these flyovers have faded reflector paint, no hazard markers, damaged warning signs, and improper lane separators.
To make them safer for road users, Citom recommended using reflectorized paint on the concrete lane barriers, installing road markers, solar-powered linear lights or pointers, and putting up reflectorized warning signs.
The DWPH will investigate the conditions described in the report.
DPWH-Central Visayas Director Ador Canlas instructed Assistant Regional Director Juby Cordon to lead the inquiry and for Cebu City District Engineer Nicomedes Leonor to submit a status report on the flyovers.
Sought for comment on Rama’s pronouncement, Citom executive director lawyer Rafael Yap said he welcomes the move to tap the private sector.
Yap admitted that they have not set aside funds for the improvement of flyovers in their P141-million budget this year, saying the matter is within the jurisdiction of the DPWH.
On Monday, Rama said he will be scheduling a meeting with the private sector and Citom to discuss the matter.
For the CSCR, Rama wants Citom to deploy personnel and vehicles in the area 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They can have three shifts.
They will monitor and ensure the strict implementation of the speed limit in the area of 60 kilometers per hour to prevent vehicular accidents.
“I want them (Citom) to seriously take charge of the matter. I don’t want to hear further reports of accidents,” he said.
Yap had admitted that the CSCR is an accident-prone area, with accidents happening at least once every week. Most of the common causes of the road mishaps are overspeeding and drunk driving.
He said they will comply with the mayor’s order.
However, he said its implementation might be delayed, because while Citom has many vehicles, some have been damaged and are no longer in good running condition.
For now, Yap said they will be focusing on installing traffic warning signs at the CSCR such as speed limit warnings, while waiting for their vehicles to be fixed.
Sun.Star Cebu repeatedly called Engineer Leonor of DPWH, but he had yet to respond as of press time.
As to the observation that a circumferential road remains undone, despite being included in the Metro Cebu Land Use Traffic Study (MCLUTS) three decades ago, Canlas said the DPWH will come in only if funds are allocated for the project.
He said that DPWH constructed and completed the Mandaue Reclamation Raod Project and the Cebu South Coastal Road because these are funded by the agency through the annual General Appropriations Act.
If a project like the Cebu circumferential road is not yet funded, DPWH can do nothing about it.
Canlas, who is attending a meeting in Manila, said he will review all their records at DPWH-Central Visayas in connection with road projects once he returns to Cebu.
The failure to implement the Cebu circumferential road based on the 30-year-old MCLUTS was discovered by Engineer Pedro Adonis Compendio of Spaces System, a Cebu consultancy firm. The firm was commissioned to study traffic for Citom to review, in connection with the proposed IT Park and commercial center on F. Cabahug St., Cebu City.
The study also revealed that constructing road extension, flyovers or adopting the Bus Rapid Transit are considered palliative solutions to the increasing traffic problems in the city. (PDF/EOB/Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 19, 2013.