ROADS will be closed in Lapu-Lapu and Cebu City for the staging of the Ironman 70.3 Philippines this Sunday, Aug. 7, 2022, which will see nearly 2,000 athletes see action in the popular swim-bike-run event.
The two cities will deploy more than 200 personnel to man traffic during the event.
The Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) will deploy 108 traffic personnel along the bike race route on the Cebu South Coastal Road (CSCR), CCTO executive director Paul Gotiong told SunStar Cebu Thursday, Aug. 4.
Road closure and diversions will be implemented from 5 a.m. until the last participant of the bike leg finishes the race. Gotiong said affected roads should reopen around 12:00 to 1:00 in the afternoon.
The CCTO personnel will man the affected roads to guide motorists and control the flow of traffic during the event.
The entire northbound and southbound lanes of the CSCR will be closed to all vehicles. Motorists heading north should take Laray Road.
Meanwhile, all vehicles from Cebu City that are bound for Nustar Resort and Casino, Il Corso, and City di Mare may take F. Vestil Road and then right turn to Bagsakan or Service Road.
Gotiong asked motorists to plan their travels to avoid further inconvenience due to the road closures.
“To all motorists, especially those traversing from south to the city, please bear with us. The road closures and traffic rerouting is for the safety of all. The Ironman 70.3 event happens once a year and plays a vital role for Cebu, promoting tourism and business,” said Gotiong.
The race will begin with a 1.9-kilometer (km) swim that will start and end at the Mactan Newtown Beach in Lapu-Lapu City.
The participants will then have to endure the 90 km three-loop bike course that will start in Mactan Newtown and then head towards the Municipality of Cordova, traverse the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX), pass through CSCR and vice versa.
The last part of the race is the 21 km three-loop run course that will start and end in Mactan Newtown.
According to Gotiong, there are no designated areas for spectators, but people can stay on the sidewalks along the race route and no crossing is allowed for safety purposes.
Separately, Talisay City Mayor Gerald Anthony Gullas Jr. announced that the South Road Properties (SRP) tunnel, Cebu South Coast Road viaduct, and SRP will be closed from 5 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Sunday for the triathlon.
In a Facebook post Thursday, Gullas appealed for understanding, especially from residents of Talisay and those from southern Cebu, saying the closure is needed as the CCLEX will be used for the bike segment of the race.
“So if you’re coming from Talisay, the Cebu side of the SRP will be closed,” he said.
He advised those traveling from the south to use Natalio Bacalso Avenue instead.
“But if you choose to pass through SRP, just turn at Gaisano SRP Laray road going to Cebu City,” Gullas said.
“If you’re going to the south, N. Bacalso road is the only option,” he added.
This year’s event will use the CCLEX as a race route for the first time. Past Ironman 70.3 events used the Marcelo Fernan Bridge for the bike stages.
In Lapu-Lapu City, there will be road closures in six barangays during the Ironman event Sunday, the city’s Public Information Office announced last Wednesday.
The road closures will take place in Barangays Mactan, Punta Engaño, Maribago, Agus, Marigondon and Subabasbas from 4 a.m. to 2 p.m. to ensure the safety of participants.
At least 126 traffic personnel from the City Traffic Management System (CTMS) of Lapu-Lapu City will be deployed in the areas affected by the road closures during the event, CTMS head Mario Napuli told SunStar Cebu on Thursday.
The Mactan-Mandaue Bridge and Marcelo Fernan Bridge, Napuli said, would remain open the entire day.
However, he advised the public to refrain from traveling to the affected areas if their travel there is not that important.
Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Chan urged the public, particularly those who have scheduled flights at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, to travel ahead of the scheduled road closures to avoid inconvenience.
Chan also urged pet owners and caretakers of animals such as dogs, cats, cows, goats and chickens, to prevent these from getting into the race courses.
As of Aug. 3, about 1,900 participants from 46 countries had already arrived in Cebu to join the much-awaited triathlon event.
The Ironman 70.3 is returning to Cebu after after a two-year break brought by the Covid-19 pandemic. (IRT, MKG, LMY)