THE proposed tri-level interchange planned along M.C. Briones St. corner U.N. Ave. in Mandaue City is nearing its implementation, a lawmaker said.
Mandaue Lone District Rep. Emmarie “Lolypop” Ouano-Dizon said Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023, that House Bill 1098, which seeks the construction of the tri-level interchange, had been approved by Congress on its third and final reading on Tuesday, Dec. 12.
Ouano-Dizon initially filed the bill in July last year during the first regular session of the 19th Congress.
She said the proposed bill will now be transmitted to the Senate for approval before it will be endorsed to President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. for signature.
The solon said the project’s initial budget stood at P1.1 billion and will be subdivided into phases.
Ouano-Dizon has yet to determine how many phases the project will have. But she said Phase 1 would cost P320 million, which is included in the 2024 General Appropriations Act that is waiting for Marcos Jr.’s approval.
Once signed, the lawmaker said she would coordinate with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7 to conduct the bidding so that construction for Phase 1 can start as early as the first quarter of 2024.
“I just want to make it clear that we have to anticipate traffic congestion because Phase 1 of this is to build an access road before we do the tri-level. But we don’t have a problem taking private properties because it is government property,” said Ouano-Dizon.
An interchange on roads is an area where highways meet, and it is possible to move from one to another without stopping.
To recall, Ouano-Dizon sought Tourism Secretary Maria Christina Garcia Frasco’s help to convince Marcos Jr. to make the tri-level interchange initiative the administration’s flagship project for Cebu.
She stressed the construction of the interchange level would address traffic congestion and boost tourism in Cebu by speeding up transactions, which in turn would attract more investors.
She explained that with the tri-level interchange along M.C. Briones St. corner U.N. Ave., where traffic congestion usually happens, the travel time would be shortened and seamless, especially because it will remove the traffic lights in the area.
Ouano-Dizon said they target to complete the project by 2028.
The lawmaker is considering proposing an alternative access road connected to the Marcelo Fernan Bridge.
“Plano nato nga e-open ang road dira so from the airport kung gusto ka mag Consolacion no need naka mobalik pa agi sa Pacific Mall. Shortcut na lang padong Cansaga Bay. As much as possible, mangita tag roads ba nga opening para maka less ug traffic,” she added.
(We plan to open the road there, so from the airport, if you want to go to Consolacion, you don’t need to go back through Pacific Mall. Instead, you can take a shortcut to Cansaga Bay. We will look for road openings to reduce traffic as much as possible.)