Mayor Rama not keen on new flyover projectsBy Doris C. Bongcac
Cebu Daily News
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama expressed surprise over a a proposal to add two new flyovers costing P800 million along Juan Luna Avenue but wasn’t keen about it.
“Magflyover na sad sila nga wala pa man gani na mahuman diha,” he said with a shrug. (There they go again proposing new flyovers when two other projects aren’t resolved yet.)
He said he wanted to see a copy of the project proposals first.
The new proposals were presented on Friday by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)7, which is seeking endorsement from the Cebu City Development Council and the Regional Development Council.
Both bodies are headed by Mayor Rama.
The mayor’s opposition to additional flyovers in the city is well known.
He complained to President Benigno Aquino in writing last year and then in a Malacañang dialog that the projects did not undergo consultation with local stakeholders and would just worsen traffic, and undermine cultural and heritage sites without the guidance of an updated Cebu traffic master plan.
The DPWH 7 last Friday included two new flyovers in a long list of infrastructure projects submitted for endorsement to get national funding in 2013.
Flyover proponent Rep. Rachel “Cutie” del Mar of Cebu City’s north district, said two new flyovers to be built near the Mabolo church and at the junction of the Ayala access road in Cardinal Rosales Avenue-F. Cabahug Street are part of a network of flyovers envisioned by her father Raul for Cebu City to decongest traffic.
She said the project sites are areas that are now the busiest commercial and residential areas in the city.
Last Friday, the DPWH 7 tried to get the endorsement of the RDC Infrastructure Development Committee but the chairman Manny Rabacal said the agency should first present the flyover proposals to the local government, through the Cebu City Development Council.
Del Mar told Cebu Daily News she was prepared to seek the CCDC’s endorsement if that’s what’s needed.
Her two earlier flyover projects in Gorordo Avenue and M.J. Cuenco were suspended by the DPWH Secretary last year amid the flurry of protests by environment and heritage advocates, traffic managers and the Cebu City mayor.
But del Mar said there are indications that these two mothballed flyovers would be implemented soon.
She said the DPWH 7 is doing surveys and talking to lot owners in these areas to determine the cost of road right of way.
Road widening is part of the plans for the flyover projects worth P300 million each.
“Road widening will be done ahead of the flyover projects. There is no quarrel on the need for road widening because that is what both sides want,” said Del Mar.
Del Mar said that so far, Cebu City’s north district has three flyovers.
These are located along Archbishop Reyes Avenue near the Cebu Business Park, at the intersection of Archbishop Reyes Avenue and Pope John Paul street near Tesda and at M. Cuenco Avenue and A. S. Fortuna Street near the Banilad Town Center (BTC).