TRAFFIC experienced by commuters from Lapu-Lapu City going to Mandue City on U.N. Ave. resulted in a series of road accidents in Mandaue City yesterday.
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7 removed the barricade at the foot of the Mandaue-Mactan Bridge on the Lapu-Lapu City side after heavy traffic was experienced on the Marcelo B. Fernan Bridge yesterday.
Only one lane of the first bridge was used since the contractor started repairs last Monday.
Initially, only Lapu-Lapu-bound vehicles could pass the first bridge.
Vehicles from Lapu-Lapu going to Mandaue were advised to pass the second bridge.
Frank Brazil, chief of the City Traffic Management System (CTMS) of Lapu-Lapu City, said traffic formed in Lapu-Lapu City as early as 5:15 a.m. yesterday, especially for vehicles crossing the second bridge to Mandaue City.
The traffic extended to U.N. Ave. in Mandaue.
Due to calls he received yesterday morning, Brazil told his men to report earlier than 6 a.m.
More than 70 CTMS personnel manned the traffic.
Following heavy traffic in both cities, the DPWH 7 opened both lanes of the first bridge.
The contractor charged with rehabilitation work is still working on the sidewalks of the first bridge.
Traffic Enforcement Agency of Mandaue (Team) Chief Glenn Antigua confirmed that traffic on U.N. Ave was really heavy.
It got worst after a prime mover encountered mechanical problem in the area at 5:56 a.m.
Melvin Bontia said the truck came from Lapu-Lapu.
Bontia said it was towed by another truck at 6:18 a.m.
At 6:50 a.m., a car sideswept another car on J.P. Rizal St., which is connected to U.N. Ave. and M.C. Briones.
On M. Logarta St., a delivery van hit a car at 9:16 a.m.
About 33 minutes later, a similar accident took place on A.S. Fortuna St.
Only six minutes had past, when a car sideswept a van on B.B. Cabahug St corner A. del Rosario St.
On M.C. Briones St., a delivery van hit a government pickup at 10:47 a.m.
In an interview, Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes and Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza said they were both amenable to opening both lanes of the first bridge for a week, as well as using a barge to transport commuters from the mainland to Mactan Island.
Cortes thanked DPWH 7 Director Ador Canlas for opening both lanes of the first bridge.
“You know ang impact ani karon dili lang sa duha ka syudad (is not limited to), Mandaue ug (and) Lapu-Lapu. This will affect the entire Province of Cebu. That’s why we are doing our best nga magtinabangay (to coordinate with each other),” Cortes said.
Cortes said they asked DPWH 7 to speed up repairs on the first bridge.
For her part, Radaza said they will continue to coordinate with the DPWH 7, Mandaue City and other authorities concerned.
The Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO) has already announced it will help manage traffic.
Senior Supt. Jonathan Cabal, MCPO officer-in-charge, said he instructed personnel of the Traffic Management Unit (TMU) to coordinate with Team.
TMU has deployed 10 policemen to assist Team enforcers.
The Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 has also deployed 40 police officers to assist the MCPO.
Cabal said the presence of uniformed officers might ease tension of motorists irked by the heavy traffic.
“We are all affected by traffic, so let us be cool. We should lend courtesy to other motorists,” he said.
The police officers can also give motorists directions, he said.
Cabal said portions of U.N. Ave. leading to the second bridge and Plaridel St. cannot accommodate several vehicles because of repairs.
“The cars usually travel on one lane,” he said.
Chief Supt. Manuel Gaerlan, PRO 7 director, instructed them to tow vehicles blocking the flow of the traffic.