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NORTHERN, CENTRAL LUZON

Road diggings worsen traffic jams

CITY OF MALOLOS—Traffic jams have worsened in some areas in northern and central Luzon because roads have been dug up again for more rehabilitation work in the last months of the Aquino administration.

The government billboards detailing the scope and duration of these road repairs bore the slogan, “Sa Daang Matuwid, panalo kayo (In a straight and narrow path, you are the winners).”

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Some of these projects were started late to accommodate motorists who traveled to the provinces during the Holy Week break, according to a government engineer, who asked not to be identified in the report.

Last week, road repairs caused a 10-hour traffic jam on a national road in Nueva Vizcaya.

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Early this week, Malolos City Mayor Christian Natividad advised motorists to brace for heavy traffic along the stretch of MacArthur Highway in Barangay Dakila because of road projects being undertaken by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

He said motorists should take alternate routes like the Liang-Sta. Isabel Road, Mabolo-Sto. Cristo Diversion Road and the Atlag-via-Bulakan Road.

Antonio Molano, DPWH Central Luzon director, said the P100-million road upgrading project covers portions of  MacArthur Highway in Malolos City and the towns of Calumpit and Guiguinto. It was started in December 2015 and would be completed on Oct. 30 this year.

In Baguio City, six main streets were simultaneously dug up by government contractors for the installation of concrete drains, bringing traffic flow to a crawl at certain hours of the day.

Roadside diggings have become obstructions along Harrison Road in front of Burnham Park, Legarda Road, which hosts a line of hotels, Abanao Street which leads to the City Hall, portions of Marcos Highway, and Magsaysay Avenue and Bokawkan Road, which lead to the strawberry farms in La Trinidad town in Benguet province.

Two side streets, which serve as alternate routes in downtown Baguio, were also dug up.

In Olongapo City, traffic gridlocks have occurred in several portions of the national road leading to the downtown area because of road-widening projects.

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The projects were designed to ease heavy traffic and decongest streets, DPWH officials said. Shops, stalls, canopies and walls have been taken down to implement the government’s reclamation program for the 20-meter highway road.

According to the DPWH officials, a highway road lane requires a measurement of 3.1 meters or 6.2 meters for the two opposite lanes.

In the towns of Subic and Castillejos in Zambales, road repairs also greet motorists going in and out of the province.

During the Lenten break, motorists were stuck in traffic for three hours in a 7-kilometer stretch of the road between Subic town and Olongapo.

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TAGS: Central Luzon, northern Luzon, Rehabilitation, road, traffic
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