THE Infrastructure Development Committee (IDC) of the Regional Development Council in Central Visayas (RDC-IDC 7) has urged all those involved in the ongoing road development projects on UN Avenue corner Plaridel Street in Mandaue City to discuss the request of the Cebu Provincial Board to halt these projects.

RDC-IDC Chairperson Kenneth Cobonpue proposed to the RDC Full Council to create a resolution that will call upon the representatives of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Mandaue City Government and the Cebu Provincial Board to deliberate the halting of these projects.

Cobonpue made the proposal during the First Quarter RDC Central Visayas Meeting held at Quest Hotel and Conference Center in Cebu City on Thursday, March 16, 2023.

During the meeting, Cebu Provincial Board Member Glenn Soco requested the RDC to intervene to urge the DPWH to abandon these projects in favor of a roundabout or rotunda.

Soco said the Cebu Provincial Board had passed a resolution Monday to validate the request.

He said the completion of the “underpass” project on UN Avenue had already been delayed for years. It had been scheduled for completion on Aug. 24, 2020.

Abandoning the previous plan, Soco said the construction of a rotunda would be much less expensive and faster.

Soco said only P54 million would be needed to build a rotunda.

And it would be finished within weeks, though this would depend on whether the roads were already widened within the intersection.

In contrast, the current underpass and road widening project on UN Avenue costs P711.8 million,

Responding to Soco’s request, a representative of the DPWH 7 said Soco’s proposal had already been endorsed to their Central Office for further study.

In 2017, DPWH commenced the construction of the project. Years later, it has been riddled with controversies.

The DPWH stopped BM Marketing, the Leyte-based contractor of the project, from continuing the project in 2019, due to the contractor’s alleged falsification of documents.

There was also the lack of a traffic management plan, resulting in traffic congestion in the intersection.

The unfinished road has inconvenienced Cebuanos and tourists traversing the Marcelo Fernan Bridge to get to other parts of the province, prompting Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia last December to say that she would sue DPWH officials in a week if the road project remained unfinished.

The DPWH has done temporary repairs to UN Avenue, but the problem remains.