The Department of Public Works and Highways – Bureau of Design made an initial presentation of the 625-meter underpass project estimated to cost about P1.11 billion, during a coordination meeting at the DPWH-Bacolod District Engineering Office in Bacolod City yesterday.
The project is being proposed to be constructed along the Circumferential Road and C.L. Montelibano Drive in Bacolod to address traffic problem in the area.
Bacolod Rep. Greg Gasataya said this may be the first underpass project to be implemented in the Western Visayas.
Gasataya said he had already requested the DPWH to conduct a feasibility study for the construction of an underpass in areas where traffic is heavy.
He said the DPWH is considering putting up the project along C.L. Montelibano Drive, but he proposed to have Burgos Extension also included.
After coming up with a feasibility study, the DPWH will return to Bacolod to conduct consultations and make the necessary budget proposal to be funded by the national government, he said.
Gasataya said it is the DPWH that will determine which area will be feasible for the implementation of the project.
It had presented a budget, but nothing is final yet until a feasibility study has been made, which he hopes will be finished in the first quarter of next year. The project may cost over a billion, to include the right-of-way, he said.
They are proposing the construction of an underpass since this will not change the landscape of the area, unlike flyovers which may generate complaints since some business establishments may be affected, Gasataya said.
If the project is implemented, this will only reflect the good relationship between the mayor, congressman, and City Council. And because of this, a lot of things can happen in Bacolod and the implementation of projects will be faster, he said.
Bacolod District Engineer Abraham Villareal said the underpass is the brainchild of Gasataya. He decided to talk to DPWH-BOD director Lea Delfinado on the possibility of constructing an underpass at CL Montelibano instead of a flyover.
Delfinado had brought to Bacolod consultants of the United Technologies Consolidated Partnership to show the proposed underpass project.
The meeting yesterday was attended by representatives from the city government, the DPWH, and DPWH-BOD, including utility companies that may be affected by the proposed project.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia said the underpass will be another facility that can help the city traffic-wise, especially in vital areas where vehicles from the airport pass. If there will be two projects implemented in the proposed areas, this will greatly help ease the traffic situation.
“This is where we see how important the coordination is between the national and local governments, especially if the congressman and the mayor have a harmonious relationship, so projects that will benefit the people could be easily facilitated,” he said.
Leonardia said the project will enhance the image of Bacolod as a city that is more modern and ready for bigger investments. This will upgrade the stature of Bacolod in the list of investment destinations.
He pointed out that the results of the National Competitiveness Council validated that among the highly-urbanized cities in the whole Visayas, the number one most competitive city is Bacolod.*
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