Councilors give their OK to the project
TACLOBAN CITY-Its all systems for the construction of the causeway project in the city but with some modifications.
This was disclosed by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in the region which will supervise the said project that will traverse over the Cancabato Bay, a marine protected area.
Edgar Tabacon, the DPWH regional director, said that the construction of the causeway project will now proceed with the members of the city council ‘lifting’ an earlier resolution opposing the project due to environmental concerns.
“The construction of the causeway project will soon to start with the lifting by the members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of their opposition,” he said on Friday (August 11).
He added that their office has also given the contractor to resume the project that will serve as an alternative road from the city proper, located along Magsaysay Boulevard, to Daniel Z. Romualdez (DZR) Airport, in San Jose district.
According to Tabacon, the two parties, meaning the DPWH and the members of the city council, agreed to do some ‘enhancement’ on the project to ensure that no environmental problems may arise.
Included in the modification was the doubling of the length of the bridge from 180 meters to 360 meters. Also, several box culverts with three meters in width and height so as not to impede the flow of water.
He also disclosed that a sewerage water treatment will be installed to avoid contaminating the Cancabato Bay.
To recall, the Sangguniang Panlungsod, in a resolution authored mainly by Councilor Aurora Aimee Grafil, directed the DPWH in the region to address first several issues before they could be allowed to proceed the project.
Based on Resolution 15-88 issued on May 25 of this year, the council members said that they have learned that the DPWH has failed to include an environmental study on the Cancabato Bay which is declared as a marine protected area in Ordinance No.2003-8-138 which prohibits against industrial wastes and pollutants.
It also said that under its zoning ordinance, Cancabato Bay was identified as a ‘not a stand-alone bay.’
“Moreover the causeway project would greatly affect the environment, impacting the fisherfolks in Tacloban City,” the resolution added.
With the enhancement, Tabacon admitted that from the original project cost of P3.46 billion, the cost has now ballooned to P4 billion.
“Right now, we are at phase I with a cost of P800 million. We hope that this causeway project will be completed within the term of Pres. Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr.,” Tabacon said.
The causeway project, considered one of the priority projects of the government in Eastern Visayas, will involve the construction of a 4-lane road embankment measuring a total of 2.56 kilometers, a bridge spanning 180 meters, with the provision of a separate bike lane, installation of concrete canals, sidewalks, and wave deflectors on both sides.
Once completed, travel time from the city proper going to the DZR Airport will only be 10 minutes from the current travel time of 45 minutes.
Tabacon said that they hope that the completion of the project will coincide with the completion of the ongoing rehabilitation of the DZR Airport to an ‘international standard.’
“These (two projects) will benefit us. This will help our economy,” he said.
JOEY A. GABIETA/LIZBETH ANN A. ABELLA