Osmeña opposes proposal to replace skywalks with underpasses

OsmeñaPhoto by Arkeen Larisma

BUILDING an underpass for pedestrians is more costly, complicated and impractical as an alternative to skywalks in Cebu City, a former mayor said on Saturday, March 16, 2024.

Former Cebu City mayor Tomas Osmeña reacted against the proposal of the incumbent City Mayor Michael Rama to demolish all skywalks in the city and replace them with underpasses.

Osmeña said in a statement on Saturday that this project will take at least 10 years to complete. He added that civil works of underpasses are more complex in comparison to installing flaring intersections and skywalks.

The former mayor argued that the civil works do not only involve excavation but also intricate designing and planning for water pipes and drainage.

It also includes the installation of water pumps to avoid flooding during heavy rain, he added.

“Worst of all, you would have to close the road during the construction,” Osmeña said. Instead, he suggested rebuilding the stairs of existing skywalks in the city.

The rebuilding will be for the reduction of the slope of the stairs to about six to eight percent gradient. The reduction will allow school children with huge bags and senior citizens to easily climb the skywalks.

He said he took inspiration from the skywalks that were built in Bogota, Columbia.

“It takes people with vision to help people with dreams. Mike Rama is not one of them,” Osmeña said.

On Thursday, March 14, Rama announced plans to remove all the remaining skywalks in the city following the demolition of two skywalks on Osmeña Blvd. to give way to the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit.

During a Cebu City online program, Rama said the skywalks have not served their purpose and have instead become an interim drop-in center for some mendicants. They have become public comfort rooms and living quarters for them, he said.

In the south district, the skywalks are located in Barangay Pardo in front of the Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Parish, in Barangay Basak San Nicolas near the University of San Jose-Recoletos, and Barangay Mambaling near Cebu Institute of Technology-University.

In the north district, there are skywalks in Barangay Kamputhaw along Escario St. and in Barangay Banilad on Gov. M. Cuenco Ave., one in Barangay Day-as going to Imus St., and another on Osmeña Blvd. corner Sanciangko St.

There are also skywalks along V. Rama Ave., near Fuente Circle along Gen. Maxilom Ave., as well as near the Lahug Barangay Hall. (EHP)


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