Editorial: Bridge repair woes-A A +A
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
THE inconvenience spawned by the attempt of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to implement daytime repairs on the old Mactan-Mandaue bridge has brought into focus the same objectionable mindset possessed by organizers of the Liberal Party (LP) rally in Talisay City last week.
That gathering attended by President Noynoy Aquino prompted the closure of portions of the Cebu south road that passes the traffic “choke point” in Barangay Tabunok and the use of one of the two parallel Mananga bridges as parking area for its participants.
The result: a traffic snarl that stretched to the Cebu City side of the road and inconvenienced many commuters.
The one question rightly raised by people in the DPWH-initiated Mactan-Mandaue bridge repair dud last Tuesday was this: Why was the work done at daytime when traffic on the bridge is normally tight?
To that we add this: Why did concerned local government units (LGUs)---the Provincial Government, the cities of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu and the town of Cordova, among others-—not question its logic?
As DPWH 7 Director Ador Canlas said: “We adopted the scheme because there was no objection from the bridge management board.” The board is chaired by the governor and has for members officials of concerned LGUs.
It’s good that DPWH 7 and local government officials eventually saw the light and changed direction after only a day of experiment (repair work will now be done only from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.) But not after parrying complaints from enraged commuters and
Closures of major thoroughfares, whether in Cebu City (how often has the south coastal road been closed for various activities?) or in other places of the province, have been done with little consideration for the interest of ordinary commuters.
Because decision-makers (who ride on vehicles and on their own sweet time from home to their work and back) do not usually experience the suffering of commuters caught in traffic snarls, they become cavalier in dealing with road closures.
They no longer bother to balance well the interest of commuters with the need to implement projects or host activities of public import on or near major thoroughfares.
The decision of DPWH and the Metro Cebu Bridge Management Board to continue the repair of the first Mandaue-Mactan bridge but only at night showed that things could have been done better in the early stages of the work had concerned officials possessed the correct mindset, which is to also consider the people inconvenienced by the move.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 28, 2013.