Traffic persists in DPWH bridge projects-A A +A
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
STA. RITA -- Irritated motorists and commuters along the Jose Abad Santos Avenue (Jasa) have renewed their call to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) regional office here to address the traffic congestion brought about by four bridge projects here that are yet to be completed.
This came as traffic congestion in the area have resulted in hours-long traffic especially during rush hours, despite the pronouncements of DPWH Regional Director Antonio Molano Jr. that they are addressing the concerns of motorists in the area.
“We are addressing the concerns of our motorists, commuters and businessmen with establishments in the area. We understand the inconvenience and we ask for more patience since the bridges are necessary for long term convenience. We can assure the public that the June 2013 schedule will be met," Molano was quoted in an earlier interview.
However, commuters here lashed on the lack of traffic enforcers and the dusty and bumpy conditions of the alternate routes.
Ariel Guzman, a local official of this town, said one would take around one and a half hours just to reach the Sta. Cruz in Labao town from the original 35-minute ride.
“The traffic is horrible. They should be working double time. Some people are complaining that they do not even see workers on the bridge projects since last week. I believe the DPWH should look on this more closely,” Guzman said.
Molano said, however, that the infrastructures are under the Project Management Office (PMO) of the President's Bridge Program headed by Director Jose Ong.
"The projects are not under the DPWH regional office. We here are just coordinating and monitoring construction works and other related activities," he said.
He said the construction of the bridges undergo three phases: foundation laying, piers and girdles establishment, paving and final approach concreting that takes at least 28 days each.
Molano also said his office already coordinated with the PMO to address the concerns of businessmen in the area; and with the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry for alternate routes with appropriate signages.
The problem involves four bridges in Bacolor, Sta. Rita and two in Lubao towns, which have yet to be completed.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on February 13, 2013.