CEBU

DPWH to clear Mambaling road

APOLOGY: The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7 has put up huge signboards (inset) on both sides of the road to apologize for the flooding of the Mambaling underpass that happened on March 31, 2021. It said its suction pumps had failed to work, with one even burning out. Heavy rains in the early morning of March 31 inundated the underpass, which was opened for public use in June 2019 and built for P800 million, making it impassable for hours. DPWH blamed the indiscriminate throwing of plastic waste, which clogged the drainage of the underpass. Photo above shows the condition of the Mambaling underpass in Cebu City on April 8, 2021. (Photo by Amper Campaña)

SOME 80 structures along the Mambaling underpass will be demolished once the Department of Public Works and Highways Central Visayas (DPWH 7) begins to implement its P16.7 million road widening project that comes with a drainage system.

This as DPWH 7 obtained writs of possession for around 200 meters of private property in the area.

DPWH 7 Director Edgar Tabacon said once property owners vacate their lots, the DPWH 7 will immediately schedule the demolition of existing structures.

DPWH lawyer Dean Martin Padoga who is in charge of the expropriation cases for the acquisition of the affected properties said while the DPWH 7 already acquired the writ of possession for the properties, the court has, so far, only served half of them.

“There are some who have not been served (the writ) by the court sheriff because they have a lot of reasons. First is the lockdown because of Covid so they said they are not prepared,” said Padoga in Cebuano.

He said various residential and commercial structures in the area will be affected by the road right of way (RROW) acquisition.

Padoga said the DPWH already sent a letter to the court to follow up on the service of the writs.

Drainage



The DPWH 7 will construct an additional lane on each side of the Mambaling underpass and install a drainage line for runoff water during rains that have caused floods in the depressed portion.

Prompted by the flooding inside the tunnel on March 31, 2021, Cebu City Councilor Jerry Guardo, chairman of the infrastructure committee, delivered a privilege speech during the Council’s regular session on April 7.

Guardo asked the DPWH 7 to update the Council on its plans related to the Mambaling underpass construction.

He also asked the Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW) to present its drainage masterplan within the vicinity of the underpass.

Councilor Alvin Dizon suggested to hold an inter-agency meeting instead of discussing the matter during the session which had already been done before.

Vice Mayor Michael Rama agreed with Dizon and asked Guardo to meet with the DPWH and DEPW representatives on the matter.

Meanwhile, Tabacon said the installed inlets were meant to have the water from F. Llamas Street cross the tunnel and then pumped out to a waterway across.

“That inlet was placed to address flooding beside the underpass at the service road,” said Tabacon.

Tabacon said the flooding on March 31 was caused by a broken water pump.

He said the pump exploded after plastic waste washed away by rainwater got stuck inside.

Tabacon called on the public to be more responsible in throwing their garbage.

A notice from the DPWH 7 on the underpass Thursday said the agency is now “procuring for the replacement of the burned-out suction pump which cost around P400,000.” (JJL)

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