Briones: Roads of hazard

I’VE been so preoccupied lately with matters outside Cebu—the ongoing conflict in Marawi City and the mysterious disappearance of Bien Unido, Bohol Mayor Gisela Boniel—that I’ve neglected far more pressing domestic issues that need to be addressed immediately.

I don’t know about you, all this talk about multi-billion-peso infrastructure projects that the government plans to implement in the metro and in the province has had me salivating.

There’s the 74-kilometer Metro Cebu Expressway Project, a corridor that will connect the south and north bypassing much of the congested streets of the cities of Talisay, Cebu and Mandaue. Travel time between the City of Naga in the south to Danao City in the north will be an hour and a half instead of three hours.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) also plans to construct the four-lane Guadalupe-Lahug bypass road that is expected to decongest traffic in Cebu City, thereby cutting travel time between the two barangays from one hour to 30 minutes.

The agency is still conducting a feasibility study on the Mandaue City-Consolacion-Liloan bypass road that is also expected to cut travel time from Mandaue City to Liloan by 50 percent.

By now, I’m looking like a rabid dog, my mouth foaming at the possibility of a respite from monstrous traffic snarls that plague everyday commuters.

But I’m quickly jolted out of my reverie when I look at the state of the roads in Barangays Zapatera and Sambag 1.

I am singling out Sikatuna and Urgello streets because I pass them almost on a daily basis.

To those who are still in the dark, I’m referring to that particular stretch in front of the Zapatera Elementary School.

I swear you’d think you were in the middle of a war zone as potholes the size of craters—yes, they’re exactly that albeit they’re tiny ones--dot a 100-hundred meter stretch. As a result, drivers are forced to decelerate to a crawl as they try to navigate through and around them.

The problem takes a turn for the worse when it rains, as that section of the road is flooded, the potholes hidden under brown water, lying in wait for hapless motorists unfamiliar to the area.

Perpendicular to Sikatuan is Echavez St., which, by the way, underwent recent rehabilitation even though, to the public eye, it didn’t require one. Compared to the former, that is.

As for Urgello, residents have been forced to fill the holes with dirt or pebbles, while jeepneys barrel down the road to leave a thick trail of dust.

I think the DPWH should first see to these problems before it pushes through with such grandiose plans.
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