Thursday July 19, 2018

Ironman off-limits to South Coastal Road

CEBU. Participants during the bike race in last year's Ironman. (SunStar File Photo)

TO PREVENT inconvenience arising from heavy traffic, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña said he will not allow organizers of the Ironman triathlon to use the Cebu South Coastal Road (CSCR) as part of the race route this year.

While he acknowledged the prestige of the international sports competition, Osmeña said that construction work on the underpass project on N. Bacalso Ave. is ongoing and the CSCR is the only access road for most of the motorists going to or from the south.

Osmeña met with the organizers of Ironman and informed them of his decision.

“They were asking if they can partially close the SRP. I like the Ironman but what comes first? So many people are complaining about the traffic. People have undergone so much agony already. I decided not to allow this year. Next year, anytime, no problem,” he told reporters.

Space needed for 90K race

Osmeña said it was not an easy decision but he is bound to answer to the public when concerns about heavy traffic and road safety are raised.

When a portion of the road was closed in August last year for the Ironman, Osmeña said, two accidents happened in the other lane because it was converted to a two way street.

“There was a head-on collision,” he said.

The race is set in August and will start, as it has in previous years, in Lapu-Lapu City. Part of the second leg, a 90-kilometer bike race, used to take place on the CSCR.

Organizers have asked for a few days to revise the race route.

READ: Off limits to Ironman

In a separate interview, Cebu City South Road Properties manager Nagiel Bañacia said that even on weekends, the number of vehicles using the CSCR remains high, considering the roadwork on N. Bacalso Ave.

“The traffic situations in CSCR on weekdays and weekends are similar. If we close a portion of the road, it will really be an inconvenience for all the motorists from the south,” he said.

Osmeña said it was not the first time that he disapproved the request to close the CSCR for a race, since several organizers of fun runs were not allowed to use the road, to prevent traffic congestion. (RVC)