AFTER 12 years, the Regional Development Council (RDC) 7 revived the road project that will connect V. Rama Ave. in Barangay Guadalupe and Gorordo Ave. in Barangay Lahug to reduce traffic in uptown Cebu City.
In a full council meeting at the City Sports Club yesterday morning, the RDC presided by Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama voted unanimously in favor of the proposal to open a road parallel to N. Escario St.
It will start from the Guadalupe Barangay Hall and cut through Gervacio Quejada St. in Guadalupe, Mahogany St. in Barangay Capitol Site and will end near the University of the Philippines Cebu campus in Lahug.
“These roads were supposed to have been interlinked before but were cut by construction of houses. When the project was first approved, the estimated cost was P400 million. I don’t know how much will it cost at present,” said private sector representative Valeriano Avila, who proposed to revive the project.
During the meeting, RDC 7 asked the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to prioritize the project in its investment program.
They also asked DPWH to prepare and conduct a feasibility study on the proposed project to determine its cost, among others.
RDC’s infrastructure development committee (IDC) head Manny Rabacal said the road project was introduced in October 2001.
That time, RDC passed Resolution No. 71, which requested DPWH to prepare a study on the construction of the road and to source funds for its implementation.
However, Rabacal said DPWH did not act favorably on the RDC’s requests, maybe because it didn’t have funds to finance the project that time.
He said that in the last 12 years, traffic on Escario St. has worsened.
“Because of this, the IDC believes that it is time the DPWH constructed an alternate road connecting V. Rama and Gorordo
avenues. The new road link will not only decongest heavy traffic along Escario but will also improve the road network of the city in particular and Metro Cebu in general,” he said.
Avila, an RDC private sector representative, expressed his support for the implementation of the road project, citing the heavy traffic on Escario St.
“This project should have been done yesterday. We should have done this yesterday,” he said.
Asked when the project will be implemented, Rama said it will take time because of the studies that need to be done.
“But it does not matter when. What’s important is that the project has been resuscitated,” he said.
Businessman Robert Go, RDC economic development committee (EDC) chairperson, welcomed the RDC’s approval of the road project.
“If this will be realized, the traffic at the Cebu Provincial Capitol will be decongested, the people will have shorter travel time and the value of lands will increase,” he said.
Meanwhile, the RDC noted that traffic congestion in major roads in Metro Cebu is worsening, partly due to the road repair and installation works carried out by government agencies and public utility companies.
A brief from the RDC secretariat said traffic congestion has negative effects, such as waste of the motorists’ and passengers’ time, waste of fuel, lost business opportunities, delay in the passage of emergency vehicles like ambulance and police cars, and unproductive time.
The RDC said that while the work undertaken by concerned government agencies and utility companies are important and necessary, it should be done at night when traffic is light.
Also in yesterday’s meeting, Rama again asked DPWH to explain to him why it had planned to implement road improvement projects on V. Rama Ave. and on M. Velez, Tupas, Katipunan, Lakandula, and Tres de Abril Streets without consulting him.
He asked them to explain why Rep. Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City, south district) was allowed to realign funds intended for the overpass project in Lahug to fund road concreting works on the six national roads.
Rama also asked DPWH to explain why it allowed Osmeña to transfer the P400-million fund intended for the City to the road widening project from Carcar City to Sibonga town. (Sun Star)