P7B ‘to fix’ Cebu City traffic

CEBU City Mayor-elect Tomas Osmeña plans to push for 20 projects worth more than P7 billion to help solve the traffic problem in Cebu.

These projects were identified by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in their Roadmap Study for Sustainable Development in Metro Cebu 2015 interim report.

Of the 20 projects, half involves the construction of flyovers worth P3.31 billion. The other half, costing a little over P4 billion, covers the construction of underpasses in different intersections that have been identified as bottlenecks.

Osmeña said he wants these projects to be implemented within his term.

“We’ll work on that kay wala’y nahimo si Rama sa iyang unom ka tuig (We’ll work on that because Michael Rama has done nothing in his six years as mayor). It will take a long time to cure the traffic problem but we will work on it,” he said. He admitted it will take a long time for the projects to be fully realized.

Asked how these projects will be funded, the incoming mayor said he will look for sources.

“Basta ako na lang bahala (I’ll take care of it). Leave me alone. Daghan kaayo ang mosud ni-ana basta ako na’y bahala (A lot will want to come in once I take charge),” he added.

Based on JICA’s report, six of the flyovers are being proposed in Cebu City while four are being proposed in Mandaue City.

The sites include the corner of M.J. Cuenco Ave. and Juan Luna Ave.; Gen. Maxilom Ave. corner M.J. Cuenco Ave.; Osmeña Blvd. corner N. Bacalso Ave.; V. Sotto Sr. corner C. Arellano Blvd.;  M.C. Briones St. corner UN Ave.; and P. Del Rosario St. corner Leon Kilat in Cebu City.

‘Not teaching’

In Mandaue City, the areas identified for flyovers are M.C. Cortes Ave. corner Jose L. Briones; M.C Briones St. corner A.S. Fortuna; Ouano Ave. corner E.O. Perez St.; and Ouano Ave. corner Conrado Seno.

JICA has said that if the flyovers have a four-lane passageway, the side roads should be widened by three meters on each

Asked how he will go about the implementation of projects that are located in Mandaue City, Osmeña begged off from discussing it.

“Sorry, I am not going to discuss projects much anymore because I have enemies who want to learn the art and I am not teaching anymore,” he said.

For the underpass, only one is being proposed for Mandaue City, which is at the intersection of A.C. Cortes Ave. and S.B. Cabahug.

The nine others will be in Cebu City.

These are proposed to be located at the corner of Juan Luna Ave. and Cardinal Rosales Ave.; Juan Luna Ave. corner A. Soriano Ave.; Gen. Maxilom Ave. corner Gorordo Ave.; Gen. Maxilom Ave. corner M. Gotianuy St.; Gen. Maxilom Ave. corner Juana Osmeña St.; Archbishop Reyes Ave. corner Juan Luna Ave.; Cardinal Rosales Ave. corner Mindanao Ave.; Gen. Maxilom Ave. corner Rahmann St.; and Colon St. corner Leon Kilat St.

Go vertical

In the interim report of JICA, the 20 traffic bottlenecks are located on trunk roads where traffic is expected to increase in the future, “hence, vertical improvements are needed.”

“It is obvious that minor modifications of traffic signal and geometric design will not solve bottlenecks,” the report states.

JICA also recommended that a rapid method construction be used. It pointed to Japanese technology that has been applied on steel boxes and steel deck slab-type bridges, among others, when constructing the superstructure and substructure.

Jica identified the bottlenecks by gauging the travel speed of 296 taxis for several days through GPS (Global Positioning System) devices.

“Results identified traffic congestion on road links and intersections where vehicles can only run at less than 10 kilometers per hour,” the report added.

Osmeña will assume as mayor starting at noon on Thursday, June 30, after six years away from Cebu City Hall.
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