THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-Northern Mindanao is planning to construct the first road tunnel in Cagayan de Oro City to help ease the traffic congestion along the Butuan-Cagayan de Oro-Iligan Road (BCIR).
Vinah Jeanne Maghinay, DPWH-Northern Mindanao spokesperson, said the 380-lineal meter tunnel project is still in the proposal stage and will have to be sent to the central office of DPWH for review, revision, and finalization.
"Within this month, possibly mapapasa ang proposed plan sa (the proposed plan will be passed to the) central office for further review. Ang hindi lang natin alam nyan is kung kailan mababalik ang plano na final, yung gaano katagal ma re-review ng central office (We do not know when the finalization of the plan will be sent back to us and how long it will be reviewed by the central office)," Maghinay said.
If the plan will be approved and the budget for the project will be released, Maghinay said the construction of the tunnel will start in 2019 and will take 3 years to finish.
The CDO tunnel, according to Maghinay, will stretch from Agusan to Puerto, along Sayre Highway, passing Agusan mountain.
The tunnel will have two lanes and will initially cost P1.4 million per lineal meter or P532 million.
The DPWH-Northern Mindanao spokesperson said the CDO tunnel project is part of the department's objective to decongest traffic along the BCI Road.
"Yung pinaka (The main) reason or objective is to decongest traffic along the BCI road para may diversion yung mga sasakyan (so there will be a diversion road for the vehicles). Kasi since the previous administration, like yung previous namin na regional director Barroso [Evelyn Barroso], yan po talaga ang gusto nya yung, ma decongest ang traffic along sa ating main highway (it is the objective of the previous regional director Evelyn Barroso to decongest the traffic along the main highway), which is the BCIR, so nag proposed sya ng maraming road opening (she proposed several road openings)," Maghinay said.
She added that the said road openings will be used as diversion roads in the main highway.
Upon the construction of the tunnel, Maghinay said the DPWH will coordinate with the Roads and Traffic Administration to close the roads affected during the construction.
"Kasi may mga drafting na magaganap kasi yung Agusan mountain bubutasin, parang may required distance na iko-close para walang ma di-distorbo or walang maging harm na ma cause sa mga tao and sa area mismo (A drafting will be conducted and a hole will be created below Agusan mountain. A required distance will be closed so there won't be any disturbance or to avoid harming the people within the area)," Maghinay said.
She added that even with the construction of the tunnel, the vehicular traffic in the area will not worsen.
"Kasi (Because) for sure while ongoing ang construction titingnan natin kung saan pwede ma-divert ang traffic na para maiwas sila sa area na iyon (we will look for roads to divert the traffic away from the area)," Maghinay said.