Downtown roads to be closed for CBRT’s ‘link to the port’

Downtown roads to be closed for CBRT’s ‘link to the port’
File photo

ROAD closures will be implemented in the downtown area for the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit’s (CBRT) “Link to the Port” feature on Osmeña Blvd.

Motorists are called to prepare for the upcoming temporary road closure for the sidewalk extension and widening project funded by the CBRT Package 1 and in line with Cebu City’s goal of pedestrianization of the city’s heritage district, which is the downtown area.

The road will be closed from the intersection of P. Del Rosario St. and N. Bacalso Ave. to M.J. Cuenco Ave. in front of Plaza Independencia, Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) assistant department head and legal officer Kent Francesco Jongoy said during the Openline news forum on Tuesday, March 12, 2024.

Jongoy said the Chinese contractor of CBRT Package 1, Hunan Road and Bridge Construction Group Ltd., had made the request to the Traffic Management Coordination Committee (TMCC).

He said the CCTO was surprised by the project, particularly the request for road closure, as the TMCC had not been informed of the “Link to the Port” feature of the CBRT Package 1 during last year’s discussion on the project.

The four-lane roads of Osmeña Blvd. in the downtown area will be reduced to two-lane roads, accommodating a higher number of pedestrians and fewer motor vehicles, he said.

He said this is in line with Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama’s directive to pedestrianize the downtown area, citing the presence of infrastructure with historical significance there such as the centuries-old Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño de Cebu.

The contractor told the TMCC that it needs a month to complete the project, Jongoy said.

The project’s civil works require only scraping off the old asphalt and installing a new pavement for the new asphalted road and extension of the sidewalk.

In SunStar Cebu’s February 2022 report on the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) posting of an invitation to bid for Package 1 of the CBRT, SunStar indicated that the invitation was “for the construction of infrastructure from the Capitol to the Cebu South Bus Terminal (CSBT) and an enhancement of the link to the Cebu port.”

The scope of work was described as including “trunk lines, sidewalk improvement, stations and other appurtenances from Capitol to CSBT, including a link to the port along Osmeña Blvd.”


Jongoy said the TMCC, the contractor and the DOTr were expected to meet on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the implementation of the road closure.

Jongoy said he suggested to the contractor a gradual conduct of the civil works by segment or block, to be done at night from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m., to minimize the inconvenience to motorists.

He said the contractor told the TMCC that the suggested work schedule was doable.

Private vehicles and modern public utility vehicles and traditional jeepneys can be rerouted to the parallel roads of Osmeña Blvd., including Leon Kilat St. and Borromeo St. for the southbound lanes and Legaspi St. to Pelaez St. for the northbound lanes, he added.

“If we can close one block, then we could divert the jeepneys and other public utility vehicles to other streets, and we will just have different diversion roads for the northbound and southbound vehicles so they are equally distributed,” Jongoy said.

He added that he had already discussed the upcoming road closure with the Federation of Cebu Transport Cooperatives and that the federation expressed support for the project.

SunStar Cebu reached out to TMCC chairperson and Cebu City Councilor Rey Gealon for details on the Tuesday meeting, but the official had yet to respond to queries. It is not yet known when the road closure will begin. / EHP


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