Mactan bridge reopens; repairs scheduled at night
After the uproar by commuters and motorists over gridlock traffic across the Mactan Channel, repair work on the old Mactan Bridge was suspended about 4 p.m. yesterday.
Repair work will resume but only at night starting 10 p.m. today.
The work schedule which will be limited from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. only will allow full traffic flow on the bridge connecting Cebu mainland and Mactan.
Immediate relief for the riding public came after Acting Gov. Agnes Magpale convened the Mactan-Cebu Bridge Management Board (MCBMB) past 7 p.m. to address mounting complaints.
In less than an hour, the board approved the joint proposal of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), City Traffic Management System (CTMS) of Lapu-Lapu City and the Traffic Enforcement Agency Mandaue (TEAM) to schedule work on a night-time basis only.
Bridge repair started last Monday and is expected to last for 90 days.
Traffic officials from Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu cities, the DPWH and the PLD construction sat down yesterday morning to discuss remedies to the problem of crossing the Mactan Channel.
Since Monday was a holiday, traffic was not much of a problem.
But yesterday, with students and employees back on the road, traffic was almost at a standstill in the parallel Marcelo Fernan Bridge.
Thousands walked the length of the old bridge and long lines were observed in the Mactan ferries.
Thousands of commuters were seen getting off vehicles at the foot of the Fernan bridge and just walking across it.
In the old bridge, thousands of students going to Cebu mainland and workers going to the Mactan economic zones walked across the bridge.
According to Frank Brazil, head of the CTMS, they agreed in the morning meeting to have the old bridge opened before 4 p.m.
“We asked the PLD Construction to stop working yesterday afternoon, clear the road of debris, so the bridge can be used before the peak traffic hours,” added Renault Ricardo, assistant DPWH district engineer.
Even Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes had to intervene to request Peter Dy, owner of PLD Construction to stop repair works and open the bridge.
“Grabe gyud kaayo ang traffic going to mainland,” Cortes said.
The P20-million rehabilitation of the 862 meters long Mandaue-Mactan Bridge involves scraping the old asphalt and replace it with fresh asphalt, and repairs of its four joints.
With the closure of the old bridge for repairs, Ricardo said that they noticed very heavy traffic in the Marcelo Fernan Bridge from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
With the revised work schedule, repairs on the bridge may be longer than the original 90 days given to the contractor.
But he said that the contract amount with PLD Construction will still be the same. He however cannot give an estimate yet as to how many days will they be adding for the rehabilitation work.
“Dili pako maka estimate kung pila ka days among extention ani pero mao rani among nakita nga solution nga e open sa traffic ang bridge between 6:00 a.m., to 10:00 p.m.,” he said while pointing out that the asphalting can just be used few hours after it is being overlaid in the road./with reports from Correspondent Jhunnex Napallacan
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