THOSE flying out of Cebu tomorrow are urged to leave for the airport four hours before their flight, to avoid getting stuck in traffic during the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) Youth Day.
Half of the Mandaue-Mactan Bridge going to Lapu-Lapu will be closed to vehicles from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. for the Pilgrim Walk, which will start at 4 p.m.
Some 5,000 youth delegates are expected to use the bridge when they walk from Hoopsdome in Lapu-Lapu to the Mandani Bay project site in Mandaue City.
Cebu City’s traffic managers also warned motorists and Cebu City residents that more roads will be closed today and tomorrow for other IEC activities in different churches.
Additional security measures will be strictly implemented in the affected roads, including a ban on all types of vehicles on the routes of the Visita Iglesia tomorrow night.
Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) operations division chief Joy Tumulak said the roads around 10 churches will be congested tonight due to the influx of Ceres buses that will transport IEC delegates to the churches for the parish encounter.
The participating parishes are St. Joseph the Worker in Barangay Mabolo, St. Therese in Lahug, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart on Escario St., Redemptorist church, Sto. Rosario on P. del Rosario St., Sacred Heart Church on Jakosalem St., Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Barangay Punta Princesa, San Roque parish in Barangay Mambalin and Our Lady of Guadalupe in Barangay Guadalupe.
The CCTO expects the buses to start arriving at 3 p.m. and come back for the delegates at 8 p.m.
“Our advice to the public is to avoid going to these areas when the activity starts and when it’s about to end because that’s when the buses will be there and the roads will be very congested. There is a possibility some roads will be closed. We will observe if there is a need to reroute traffic,” Tumulak told reporters yesterday.
For the Visita Iglesia on Thursday, several roads in uptown and downtown areas will be closed to make way for the 15,000 IEC delegates and local parishioners who are expected to join.
Participating churches are the Asilo de la Milagrosa chapel, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart on Escario St., Redemptorist church, Sto. Rosario church, Sacred Heart Church on Jakosalem St., Cathedral and Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño. (See page 7 for the Visita Iglesia route.)
The affected roads downtown are d. Jakosalem St., Legaspi St., P. del Rosario and Pelaez St., and Escario St., Gorordo Ave., F. Sotto St. and Juana Osmeña St. in uptown area.
As requested by the police and the IEC organizers, Tumulak said these roads will be cleared of all types of vehicles from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. as additional security measure.
“We are informing the public ahead that parking of any kind of vehicle on these roads is strictly prohibited as an additional security measure. The police and the organizers asked us to remove all the vehicles because they could pose risks to the participants since we don’t know what’s inside these vehicles,” he said.
Tumulak warned that vehicles that will be found on the roads will be towed to the South Road Properties (SRP), and owners will have to pay the P2,000 to P3,000 towing fee for four-wheel vehicles and P1,500 to P2,000 for motorcycles.
In a separate notice, the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) advised all outgoing passengers departing from Mactan to go to the airport early tomorrow.
If it normally takes them one hour to get to the airport, they should try to leave 30 minutes earlier when they travel out of Cebu tomorrow afternoon, said MCIAA General Manager Nigel Paul Villarete.
The adjustment is one of several being adopted while the IEC continues.
At the Capitol, Provincial Administrator Mark Tolentino declared there will be no work for Provincial Government employees on Friday, Jan. 29.
There will be a 4 p.m. mass in front of the Capitol on that day, followed by a procession to the Plaza Independencia. To allow preparations, like the arrangement of chairs, the portion of Osmeña Blvd. in front of the Capitol until the intersection closest to Fuente Osmeña will be closed to vehicles starting at 1 p.m. on that day.
For tomorrow’s parade, Glenn Antigua, chief for operations of the Traffic Enforcement Agency of Mandaue (Team), said that vehicles going to Lapu-Lapu City may go through S.B. Cabahug St. and M.C. Briones St.
“It would be better for outbound passengers to wait for hours before their flight at the airport rather than be stuck in traffic,” he said.
Antigua told Sun.Star Cebu that as early this morning, Team will put up signs showing advisories for the IEC Youth Day.
The venues were among the areas that Interior and Local Government Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento inspected yesterday.
To ensure the safety of the youth participants during the Pilgrim Walk, Team will not allow trailers and trucks to pass along the route, until delegates reach Mandani Bay.
Senior Supt. Jonathan Cabal, officer-in-charge of the Mandaue City Police Office, said that more than 200 PNP personnel will assist during the event.
Some of them will stay overnight to guard the youth delegates during their vigil.