GUAGUA — Second District Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s proposed 29-kilometer road linking the towns of Lubao, Guagua, Minalin, and Sto. Tomas has been given an allotment of P1-billion by the national government.

According to Pampanga Second Engineering District chief Gregorio Audea, Mrs. Arroyo was able to convince the national government in including the construction of the Lubao-Guagua-Minalin-Sto. Tomas Road in the Public Works department’s budget under the 2018 General Appropriations Act (GAA).

“This is just one of the many projects that Congresswoman Arroyo has planned not only for her district but even for the whole province,” Audea said, after he accompanied the former President in an ocular inspection on sites where she proposes the construction of big-ticket government projects in her district.

The new road link is within the Pampanga Megalopolis masterplan crafted and turned over to the Provincial Government of Pampanga and Mrs. Arroyo recently by renowned urban architect and planner, Felino Palafox, Jr.

The road will be a public highway which will allow motorists coming from Bataan to pass thru the towns of Lubao, Sasmuan, Guagua, and Minalin, then out to the Sto. Tomas portion of MacArthur Highway (Manila North Road).

The link is seen to cut travel time by avoiding traffic along the Jose Abad Santos Avenue in the City of San Fernando to the towns of Bacolor and Guagua.

At least three bridges will be constructed for the road alignment that will be carved mostly on existing dikes and fishponds.

Audea furthered that the provincial government funded a P20-million feasibility study that would look into at least three possible alignments of the road that is seen to ease up traffic congestion in the capital city.

“If the feasibility study is completed by April and everything else goes on schedule after that, construction of this road will begin in the last quarter of this year,” Audea said.

Should the project be divided into several packages, the road construction may last for at least two years, he said.

Asked if the P1-billion budget will enough to complete the project, Audea explained that it will depend on the approved alignment and expenses on possible right of way acquisition.

“If the chosen alignment will be longer or would require more work, then fund augmentation may be required. But P1-billion is a good amount to start with and we, the people of Pampanga are lucky that our congresswoman was able to lobby for this allotment,” Audea said. (JTD)