Written By Real Kevin Jay on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 | 1:21 PM
DPWH greenlights P80 million study for widening coastal road links between Danao and Carcar cities.
An P80 million study will look into the viability of widening existing road networks in Metro Cebu’s coastal areas.
The study, commissioned by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Central Visayas will also explore the construction of underpasses or tunnels in lieu of road widening, said Leah Negre, an engineer at the planning and design division of the DPWH-7.
“We are trying to link roads in the south and north. But the study will focus especially on road systems along the coastal corridor that will have to be widened. It will look at the most effective routes,” Negre told Cebu Daily News yesterday.
The underpass proposal could also be incorporated in the Cebu Circumferential Road Project under the Metro Cebu Development Project (MCDP) 3. The Japanese loan-funded MCDP 3 included the South Road Properties (SRP) and the Cebu South Coastal Road (CSCR).
The Cebu Circumferential Road Project was the third road link but was never implemented. DPWH Regional Director Ador Canlas met on Saturday with Cebu City officials and SRP locators – Filinvest Land Inc. and SM Prime Holdings Inc. to discuss growth plans for Cebu, including a plan to widen the Mambaling access of the SRP.
City Hall was represented by OIC city engineer Jose Marie Poblete, Councilor Dave Tumulak, SRP manager Roberto “Bu” Varquez and officials of the Cebu City Integrated Traffic Operations Management (Citom).
Negre said the P80 millionfeasibility study will check the viability of linking existing road networks along the coast from Danao City in northern Cebu to Carcar City in the south. It will also look into the proposal of former Cebu City Rep. Tomas Osmeña to build a tunnel or underpass along Sergio Osmeña Road in the Reclamation Area and to convert the national highway that connects the SRP tunnel into a freeway.
Lito de Dios of the consultancy firm Cedco Inc. presented the scope of their study. Negre told CDN the conduct of the feasibility study was bidded out last December and was awarded to Cedco. Cedco has one year to conduct the study of the planned road widening project. The study will determine which road networks can be linked, how much this will cost and how long it will take to implement.
“Since we are now preparing for the 2015 budget, the budget for the road project may be include in the 2016 budget yet,” Negre said. Referring to Cedco’s presentation, Varquez said the firm is looking at the possibility of expanding the Mambaling access road of the SRP from four lanes to six or eight lanes.
This would cut at least one hectare of the 26 hectare Lot 8-B of the SRP where the San Pedro Calungsod templete is located. Cebu City is offering the property for sale. The largely vacant tract of land is a potential venue for the 2016 International Eucharistic Congress.
Varquez said that the city government will have to give up at least seven meters for two additional road lanes on the right side of the Mambaling access road if the study recommends a six-lane road. An even bigger area of 14 meters will have to be set aside if Cedco says that the Mambaling access road has to be widened to eight lanes in order to have four lanes on each side.
“That (road widening) is necessary because when there’s traffic congestion, the city has a big problem,” said Varquez. Varquez said DPWH would have a hard time acquiring properties on the left side of the Mambaling access road for expansion because this is being developed by SM for its Seaside City project.
Councilor Tumulak said Cedco is looking into the possibility of putting up an underpass on the left lane of the Mambaling access road instead of adding two more lanes to widen it. The underpass will allow a left turn to the CSCR seaside lane headed towards Cebu City Hall without disturbing traffic flow on the CSCR’s right lane that goes to Talisay City.
For this to happen, the city government will have to donate the Mambaling access road to the national government before DPWH can work on any expansion. Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said he was open to donating the road “for as long as it (the project) will create sufficient mobility to address the choke points.
” He said he welcomes any move by DPWH to consider the widening of N. Bacalso Avenue, the city’s south corridor which is getting more congested with two new department stores in the area. Tumulak said any donation of land would require City Council approval.