DPWH budget set for overpass in front of Mormon templeBy Jessa Chrisna Marie J. Agua
Cebu Daily News
Another flyover is planned for Gorordo Avenue, Cebu City, this time to rise in front of the new Mormon temple.
The project is one of six approved flyovers in the list of the Department of Public Works (DPWH) 2012 regular infrastructure projects, two of which were dropped and realigned for other projects.
The P201 million Gorordo Avenue-Doña Modesta Gaisano Street flyover is proposed to be located between the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints temple and JY Square Mall, said DPWH 7 spokesperson Marie Mignon Nillama.
But DPWH is still preparing the program of works so the project is “not final”, Nillama added.
A moratorium on all flyovers is still in effect as ordered by Public Works Secretary Rogelio Sison last year but road widening work about to start in some proposed sites is being watched closely by flyover critics who fear this is preliminary to a lifting of the freeze order.
The flyover in front of the Mormon church was approved in November 2011, said Nillama.
It is located near a corner popularly called “iskina (corner) Sudlon.” The corner road of Doña Modesta Gaisano leads to government offices like the Cebu Provincial Police Office and Ecotech Center in Sudlon, as well as the entry of Beverly Hills.
Three other flyyovers were approved in November 2011 for the DPWH 2012 infrastructure list – the Mambaling attachment (an extension of the existing Mambaling flyover), the M.J. Cuenco-General Maxilom Avenue, and Gorodo Avenue-Archbishop Reyes Avenue.
The last one – Gorordo Avenue-Archbishop Reyes Avenue project – drew the strongest opposition last year by Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, and environment and heritage advocates because it would rise in front of the Asilo dela Milagrosa.
Catholic nuns of the over 50-year-old shrine objected to the loss of private property in the road setback and loss of solemnity in the area.
Implementation of these four proposed flyovers are “still pending in Manila” because bidding and approval of projects worth more than P150 million are handled by the DPWH central office, Nillama explained.
The flyover project near the Asilo dela Milagrosa was already bidded out to a winning contractor, just like the flyover in Mabolo along M.J Cuenco Avenue.
The recent developments alarmed the Movement for a Liveable Cebu (MLC), a group that grew out of opposition to the flyovers.
“All of us are shocked. These (flyover projects) have already been denied. There was a letter saying the hold order has not been lifted,” said MLC convenor Rudy Alix referring to the flyover moratorium.
Around 15 MLC officers were having their weekly meeting when sought by CEBU DAILY NEWS for comment.
“We’d like to meet with DPWH in public and ask questions,” said MLC convenor Joel Lee, owner of a Lahug hotel and well known permaculture advocate.
“Are they fooling us? What does Secretary Singson’s moratorium mean? The government is about the people. Didn’t the president say the people are his boss? Unsa man diay ni? We challenge them to a meeting.”
The DPWH 2012 list of regular infrastructure projects mentions six approved flyovers.
Of the six, two were realigned while four others will “push through,” said Nillama.
The implementation of the (1) M.J. Cuenco-General Maxilom Avenue, (2) Gorodo Avenue-Archbishop Reyes Avenue, and (3) Gorordo Avenue-Doña Modesta Gaisano Street flyovers are “still pending in Manila.”
Bidding and approval of projects worth more than P150M are handled by DPWH head office, Nillama explained.
The M.J. Cuenco flyover has a budget of P181 million and includes road widening and drainage, said Nillama.
The Archbishop Reyes-Gorordo Avenue flyover will cost P161 million, a DPWH fact sheet said.
The P154 million Mambaling project is a left-turning northbound attachment to the existing Mamabling flyover which serves south-bound traffic.
The attachment will lead to the Sound Road Properties (SRP) through an access road heading to the SM Seaside City passing through C. Padilla street.
“Road widening, traffic light installation, and landscaping underneath has started under 2011 regular infra projects. It has a separate budget of P100 million with P60 million for both traffic light and road-right-of-way (RRW) while the P40 million is for improvement landscaping. We have asked CITOM to help us with the traffic light. The road widening for Mambaling has already started,” said Nillama.
Affected homeowners near the proposed M.J. Cuenco-General Maxilom flyover earlier complained about “unfair” boundaries and as a result, the original scope was changed, said Engr. Lea Legre of DPWH Planning and Design Division.
A reduced 17.74 meter total clearance (8.87 meter each) for both left and right lane from the center island is set by DPWH, she added.
The budget for two remaining flyover projects, one in Mandaue and another in Cebu City, were diverted to smaller projects.
The P189M Ouano Avenue to Plaridel Street flyover in Mandaue city was realigned to three projects: the Butuanon bridge rehabilitation and two drainage projects in Plaridel Street and Ouano Avenue, Nillama continued.
To avoid “redundancy” with the proposed flyover near the Mormon temple, a proposed Gorordo Avenue-Salinas Drive flyover was converted to road widening projects and “narrowing” of the center island fronting JY Square Mall, she said.
The realigned project in Lahug has the same budget as the flyover that will “push through.”