Finish pending road projects and in Cebu City first before proceeding to another.
This was the call of the Cebu City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) board to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
A list of seven “delayed and unfinished” DPWH projects in Cebu City was sent to the agency in a June 11 resolution passed by the Citom board.
The list was sent even before Mayor Michael Rama questioned ongoing work in concreting projects in city roads considered in “good condition.”
Citom identified the unfinished projects as M. Velez street, M.J. Cuenco Avenue, and N. Escario Avenue, the access road for the Mambaling flyover, Mahiga bridge widening in Banilad, side roads for the Archbishop Reyes flyover, and a sidewalk for the skywalk project in barangay Day-as. (See table)
Citom chairman Sylvan “Jack” Jakosalem said they have been following up the DPWH in their meetings and were told the budget was available but none of the promises were realized for years.
Just recently DPWH issued a notice to proceed to contractors for road concreting projects in six areas in Cebu City.
Jakosalem said DPWH should focus on completing projects before starting a new one.
“I was told several times that there is budget but until now it has not been completed yet until the Citom board reached the point when we were already very upset because of these unfinished DPWH projects,” Jakosalem told Cebu Daily News.
Jakosalem gave a copy of the Citom resolution to DPWH Regional Director Ador Canlas when they met with Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia on Tuesday to discuss the removal of century-old trees in Naga.
“The cause of the problem is there is no accurate foresight. We are highly concerned for the public and at the same time upset with DPWH,” Jakosalem said.
Based on the 2010 General Appropriations Act, P10 million has been allocated for the widening of Mahiga bridge along Gov. Cuenco Avenue in barangay Banilad.
A wider bridge would have complemented the flyover project.
At present the Bantal flyover has vehicles lining up when motorists are stuck in the two-lane Mahiga bridge as the road gets constricted.
Wider road sides have not been used because civil works have been stopped for reasons unknown to Citom.
Jakosalem said DPWH should look back and check unfinished projects.
He cited the delay of the widening of M. Velez near Capitol and N. Escario street because DPWH has not coordinated withe utility companies to remove lines and utility posts before starting the project.
“Why haven’t they coordinated with the utilities before pursuing the projects? Why didn’t they know there are utility lines there,” he said.
He said Citom has been blamed by the public for traffic jams partly caused by these unfinished roads.
In the Cebu City south district, DPWH has not yet completed the access road leading to the Mambaling flyover.
Jakosalem said he wondered whether the contractors of these projects were fully paid already. /Marian Z. Codilla, Reporter