Cebu Expressway eyed

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Sunday, March 9, 2014


CEBU CITY -- The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-Central Visayas is conducting a feasibility study on the construction of a Cebu Expressway from Carcar City to Danao City.

DPWH-Central Visayas Assistant Regional Director Nonie Paylado said that if this expressway is built, it would cut the travel time from Carcar to Danao by half. The two cities are around 73 kilometers apart.

The plan is for the expressway to pass near the Lagtang Public Market in Talisay City and through the mountain barangays of Cebu City. This way, motorists from either city will avoid traffic-prone areas in downtown Cebu City, Mandaue City and the towns of Consolacion and Liloan.

Paylado revealed the ongoing feasibility study after Metro Cebu Development Coordinating Board (MCDCB) officials pointed out that the concreting of Hernan Cortes St., its extension and the Cebu Circumferential Road were not included in the proposed national budget for 2015.

The board had recommended that these projects be included for funding.

Engineer Arnold Jobellar, MCDCB planning and general support manager, raised the complaint on behalf of MCDCB during the meeting last March 5 of the Infrastructure and Development Committee (IDC) of the Regional Development Council (RDC).

Paylado presented during that meeting the DPWH-Central Visayas programs and activities for endorsement to the RDC Full Council.

Jobellar recalled that on January 7, 2013, DPWH-Central Visayas Director Ador Canlas met with him, MCDCB co-chairpersons Roberto Aboitiz and Dondi Joseph, and Engineer Fortunato Sanchez, where they presented their concerns and proposals.

In that meeting, Jobellas said, the DPWH agreed to include the projects MCDCB recommended for funding in the department’s budget for 2015.

Where’s budget?

Paylado explained that for Hernan Cortes St., a section of the road was included in the 2014 budget, while Hernan Cortes Ext. is included in the DPWH Sixth Engineering District’s budget.

Improvements on Hernan Cortes St. are expected to decongest the parallel Banilad Road. Cortes St. needs to be decongested, concreted, widened and provided with a drainage system.

As to the inner Cebu Circumferential Road, Paylado said it will be part of the ongoing feasibility study for the expressway.

Jobellar told the IDC-RDC that the circumferential road from Pardo to Talamban has a feasibility study and detailed engineering prepared by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), which DPWH ought not to waste.

However, General Manager Nigel Paul Villarete of the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA), who attended the DPWH presentation, commented that the Jica study was done in 1993 yet and can no longer be used as basis for construction.

Costs more now

For one thing, construction costs have soared in the last 21 years, said Villarete, who was once a Cebu City Government urban planner.

Villarete suggested that DPWH conduct the feasibility study for the inner circumferential road (Pardo to Talamban) so it can source funds.

Paylado agreed with Villarete, saying the inner circumferential road can be connected to the expressway. But they have to revisit the old feasibility study by Jica because there are buildings and subdivisions that might be affected.

“As much as possible, we should not pass areas with buildings, otherwise we would need a huge amount of money for road right-of-way,” Paylado said.

He said the feasibility study for the expressway will be completed in January 2015.

“Once the feasibility study for the expressway with three alignments will be completed, we will recommend to our central office in Manila what’s the most feasible alignment,” Paylado said.

Options

He said that DPWH will recommend the implementation of the project next year either through foreign assistance, Public-Private Partnership (PPP) or inclusion in the 2016 annual budget.

Meanwhile, to ease the heavy flow of traffic in the area, officials of Barangay Talamban are asking the Cebu City Government to fix or widen roads in the community.

In a resolution, Talamban officials asked the City to implement immediate road widening of the Tintay road.

“The traffic situation in the area is too heavy especially during rush hour. We have already received several complaints about the traffic situation in the area from passing motorists, businessmen and the academe,” they said.

Talamban officials headed by Barangay Captain Dario Arcilla said that the City, particularly the Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW), already came up with a program of works and estimates for the widening of Tintay road.

Soon, please

They are hoping that the project will be implemented soon.

The barangay officials are also asking the City to widen Highway II.

This, they said, will address the traffic situation in the inner portion of the barangay, considering there are already high-end subdivisions in the area.

The officials said the barangay doesn’t have enough funds to implement the project and they hope that the City will appropriate funds for it.

Another project that the barangay wants the City to implement is the repair of a portion of the M.L. Quezon Ave. in Cabancalan, which collapsed many years back.

The collapsed road, they said, endangers the lives of passing motorists, commuters and residents in the area.

Talamban’s resolution was forwarded to the City Council, which referred the matter to its committee on infrastructure, DEPW and the DPWH. (EOB/With PDF/Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 10, 2014.

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