MAASIN CITY- This city will get an alternative link to the commercial district – a 4.71-kilometer coastal bypass road with reclamation component meant to ease traffic woes and expand the city’s development.
The planned road, which will cost P1.5 billion, will get an initial budget of P50 million this year, said Ma. Margarita C. Junia, chief of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Southern Leyte district engineering office.
The proposed road, one of the key infrastructure projects in the region, will connect the city’s commercial center in Barangay Lib-og to nearby populated village of Mambajao. It will traverse coastal barangays of Abgao, Tunga-Tunga and Combado.
The preliminary release, strongly lobbied by Rep. Roger Mercado for inclusion in the 2017 appropriations, will be used for the preparation of feasibility study for multi-year implementation, initial road construction, and some slope protection.
“The main roads leading to the city center are already congested even if those roads are restricted to one lane,” Junia said, referring in particular to R. Kangleon and Tomas Oppus Streets.
“We cannot expand to the other side of the city since it’s mountainous,” she added.
Maasin, a fourth class city and capital of Southern Leyte province, has a land area of 211.70 square kilometers with a population of 85,560.
The city’s terrain is characterized by relatively flat lands along the coastal plains where population areas lay, and becomes rugged and mountainous towards the interior
DPWH Southern Leyte planning section chief Vincent Sy said the proposed budget for the project in 2018 is P200 million.
“Releases in the next years will mainly depend on the outcome of feasibility study, which will be completed within the first half of the year,” Sy added.
The project is in compliance to Secretary Mark Villar’s directive to decongest traffic through construction of by-pass roads in populated areas. (PR)