Lanes 1 and 6 of track oval ‘need’ repairs

Lanes 1 and 6 of track oval ‘need’ repairs
Workers continue preparations for the official opening of the Palarong Pambansa 2024 at the Cebu City Sports Center on Monday, July 8, 2024. The ceremony will be held on Tuesday, July 9, with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Vice President Sara Duterte expected to attend.AMPER CAMPAÑA

THE newly rehabilitated rubberized track oval at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) will only be safe for athletes provided that minor defects spotted on lanes 1 and 6 are repaired before the Palarong Pambansa officially starts on Thursday, July 11, 2024.

This was revealed by Department of Education Assistant Secretary and Palarong Pambansa secretary general Francis Cesar Bringas during the press conference at the CCSC on Monday, July 8.

“These are very crucial lanes, considering that they are close to the finish line,” he said.

“In the running events, usually runners converge probably in one lane, and when one trips, all the others will trip,” he said.

Bringas said they have already coordinated with the contractor’s technical consultant to do the necessary interventions, so the track oval will be ready before the start of the games.

This was confirmed by John Pages, Cebu City Sports Commission chairman, who stressed that the track oval has to be ready before the official start of the games.

“The track oval will be ready. There are just minor repairs that are being done,” he said.

In an earlier briefing at City Hall Monday morning, Acting Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia said they have been in touch with the contractor and it was making the necessary repairs.

He said the contractor assured him the repairs would be completed on Monday, a day before the opening ceremony on Tuesday, July 9.

“That is the promise of the contractor that he will finish it by today (July 8) because tomorrow (July 9) will be the opening ceremonies (and) our President and Vice President will be here,” Garcia said in a mix of English and Cebuano.

However, SunStar Cebu went to the track oval on Monday afternoon and was told by workers that the contractor would start repairs at dawn Tuesday.

Garcia pointed out that the defects were minor and were manageable.

“There are no such things as Plan B anymore. Magamit gyud na siya (The track oval will be used),” he said.

The acting mayor said the City could hold the contractor liable if it didn’t fix the problem after the games, adding that the City still had a hold on the contractor since it had yet to pay the latter for the project.

He said the track oval would not be open to the general public until the repairs are completed.

Garcia earlier announced the CCSC, including the track oval, would be open after the games.

He said the minor defects were attributed to the ongoing preparation inside the CCSC, including the setting up of the main stage for the opening ceremony.

He said vehicles traversing the rubberized track oval might have been one of the causes of the defects, describing it as inevitable.

A pile of plywood platform has been placed to cover the new rubber to protect it from further damage while preparations are ongoing.

Garcia was told by the contractor that to protect the newly rehabilitated track oval, motor vehicles and construction materials that could cause potential damage should be prohibited from the area.

Repairs, though, may be hampered by the latest forecast released by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, which said Cebu can expect moderate to high chances of rain and occasional thunderstorm from July 8 to July 18.

The CCSC was closed on May 18, 2023 to pave the way for repairs and rehabilitation for the Palarong Pambansa 2024.

On Oct. 30, the City Government awarded the rehabilitation of the rubberized track oval to SBD Builders, which received the notice to proceed last Jan. 16.

The contractor was given 120 calendar days to finish the civil works, but the laying of the new rubber didn’t start until the last week of May.

The City Government allocated P52 million to rehabilitate the track oval. / JPS, EHP

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