Bridge repairs may end ahead of Ironman triathlon
HERE’s a good reason to finish repairs on the Marcelo Fernan bridge earlier than its Aug. 30 deadline.
The Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines, an international triathlon, will be held in Cebu on Aug. 5.
Due to fair weather, repair on the bridge’s expansion joints will wrap up on July 15 to 16 or ahead of the 88-day schedule that ends in August, said Engr. Santiago Suico of the Department of Public Works and Highways quoting the private contractor.
The good news was raised in yesterday’s meeting the Mandaue-Mactan Bridge Management Board at the Capitol.
The announcement was welcomed by organizers of the Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippine Triathlon race. 5 in Cebu.
The triathlon will have a 90-kilometer bike course that will traverse the Marcelo Fernan Bridge, which requires temporarily closing the bridge to traffic.
In 2011, the Ironman was held in Camarines Sur, one of the events that bolstered Camarines Sur’s tourism, enabling the province to bring in the the most number of visitors, topping both Cebu and Metro Manila as the country’s top tourist destination.
Repair work to replace rubber expansion joints with steel finger expansion joints started last June 5.
Due to fair weather, DPWH officials said the repairs were going ahead of schedule.
“Without the perfect traffic plan, we could not make the necessary repair works and there would be a backlog of our repair works,” Suico said.
Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia told reporters the “methodology used was very efficient.”
She credited close cooperation between the board and the DPWH .
“We came out with a more efficient traffic flow and enabled the contractor to work more efficiently,” Garcia said.
Aside from a bike race, the Ironman will also have a 21-kilometer running course and a 1.9-kilometer swimming course along Punta Engano in Mactan Island.
The Ironman triathlon series is held in different venues around the world and is participated by international athletes.
In Cebu, the Ironman 70.3 triathlon medals will be designed by world class Cebuano designer Kenneth Cobonpue. /Dale G. Israel, Senior Reporter
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