SRP tunnel to close for repairs

SRP tunnel to close for repairs
ROAD CLOSURE. A temporary road closure will be implemented at the SRP tunnel starting July 17, to address issues including an electrical wiring problem, a weak lighting system, and hairline cracks. / AMPER CAMPAÑA

The six-month partial road closure at the Cebu South Road Properties (SRP) tunnel to pave the way for repairs due to electrical and structural issues will start on July 17, 2024.

Electrical wiring problem, weak lighting system, and hairline cracks were seen during an ocular inspection by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the contractor ZLREJ Trading and Construction on June 13, 2024.

Kent Francesco Jongoy, legal officer of the Cebu City Transportation Office, in an interview with SunStar Cebu’s online news program “Beyond the Headlines,” said that the partial road closure, which is seen to last six to seven months, will start after the City’s hosting of Palarong Pambansa concludes.

The partial road closure meant that the outer lanes of the northbound and southbound roads would be closed for the contractor to set up the scaffoldings, while the inner lanes would be left open for motorists to pass through continually.

Jongoy said that Acting Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia and Councilor James Anthony Cuenco, chairman of the transportation committee, are left with no choice but to implement the road closure for the general public’s safety.

He also said the contractor told him that part of their scope is to paint the corners white to improve light reflection and make the tunnel even brighter.

He added that after the inspection, Garcia directed the contractor to finish the lighting repairs before the Palarong Pambansa.

He said that it was evident that only 30 to 40 percent of the lights were left functioning, “it surely needs repair,” he added.

Garcia also directed a moratorium that would suspend all construction work where billeting and sports events are held for the Palaro.

Jongoy said that if the road needs to be fully opened, the contractor and the DPWH assured that they can always accommodate the suspension, especially since six to seven months of repairs would include the days of the Sinulog Festival.

He added that there is a possibility for the presence of scaffolding at the time of Palaro.

Cuenco said Wednesday that the DPWH and the contractor agreed to Garcia’s move to delay the start of the repairs but not the installation of scaffolding in the area since they need it to reach the busted lights for replacement and to fix the electrical wiring.

“It is necessary to keep the tunnel well-lighted for the safety of everyone,” said Cuenco.

Cuenco confirmed that replacing the busted lights will take about one week, just enough time before the Palaro starts.

Moreover, Cuenco said that there are cracks in the foundation that need to be patched up.

He added that the SRP tunnel would remain passable to vehicles except for 10-wheelers and above trucks and other heavy equipment.

Cuenco said that he believes that the entire project can be completed in less time.

Jongoy said that installing the lights could be done in just a week, while repairing the hairline cracks requires much more time. / JPS

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