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Maintenance lack seen cause of Cebu tunnel leak

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CEBU CITY—A structural engineer recommended regular maintenance work on this city’s first subway tunnel to stop water leaking into it.

Ariel dela Cruz, the city’s structural consultant, said water leaking into the tunnel was a result of poor maintenance and waterproofing.

The subway tunnel, funded by a P9-billion loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), is the last remaining section of the Cebu South Coastal Road Project, which links Cebu City to Talisay City in the south.

The four-lane tunnel is about a kilometer long, which starts from a portion of the South Coastal Road going underneath the historical Plaza Independencia and Fort San Pedro and ending at the corner of Palma Street in downtown Cebu City.

In a report after an inspection of the tunnel, Dela Cruz said cracks in the tunnel have to be plugged. His report also said silt should be removed from the tunnel surface.

“Maintenance should be considered on a regular basis,” said his report to Mayor Michael Rama.

Dela Cruz also recommended an improvement in the tunnel’s waterproofing.

Marie Nillama, information officer of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Central Visayas, said motorists should not be alarmed by the leak because it does not affect the tunnel’s structural integrity.

Early this March, Rama called the attention of the city engineering department after receiving reports about cracks and water leaks on the tunnel’s walls.

DPWH engineers inspected the tunnel on March 5, a day ahead of city engineers.

In their report, the DPWH engineers said the water leak came from weep holes at the bottom of the tunnel wall. Weep holes are small openings on the walls that allow water to seep in to prevent it from accumulating inside the walls.

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Tags: Cebu , Cebu tunnel leak , Regions

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