Thursday, June 08, 2006

Oro traffic back to 'normal' as firm opens bridge

ADHI Karya-VT Lao Construction surprised Cagayan de Oro and gave motorists relief when it fully opened the Ysalina Bridge on Monday.

The half-a-century old bridge has been undergoing major repairs for a month already. It was closed to traffic last May 7 and was supposed to be fully opened on June 15.

But to the contractors and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), it didn’t come as a surprise.

Deputy project engineer Ricky Galera and DPWH northern Mindanao assistant director Norma Gironella earlier told councilors that only the reasphalting of the bridge’s pavement was the hindrance to its reopening.

The reasphalting was completed on Sunday night.

While the rest of the city was preparing for the opening of classes, the firm’s workers started dismantling their tents, equipment, barricades and other makeshift facilities from the bridge’s pavement in the wee hours of Sunday night.

Even jeepney and motorela drivers as well as the Roads and Traffic Administration (RTA) personnel assigned at both sides of the bridge were caught unaware when they discovered that the bridge was fully opened early Monday morning.

RTA personnel hurriedly went back to their pre-June 8 assigned posts both at the Gaston park and Carmen areas to guide the flow of traffic there.

Meanwhile, the Carmen rerouting was implemented again.

Thus, the overall traffic flow in urban Cagayan de Oro was back to the pre-June 8 level with a few instances of traffic jams because of the 30,000 public elementary and high school students trooping back to their respective campuses.

June 8 was the starting date that Ysalina bridge was closed to traffic.

Still, councilors who conducted their weekly plenary Monday afternoon at the fourth level of the City Hall Executive Building which has an overlooking view of the bridge could not help but be amazed.

They were the same councilors who earlier sternly reminded the project contractors that they would go after the P17.3-million security bond of the bridge repair if they could not completely reopen it on June 15.

Councilor Ian Mark Nacaya lauded the company, saying the bridge was fully opened 10 days ahead of schedule. "We commend the contractor for a job well done."

Councilors said they had expected only one of the two-lane bridge to be opened last Monday. It’s full opening was therefore a big surprise, they said.

On Monday, the council passed a resolution commending the contractor for the full opening of the Ysalina Bridge.

Councilor Reynaldo Advincula said the city engineer was tasked to check the bridge retrofitting project just to make sure it is safe for use.

Councilor Maryanne Enteria said she was glad because the opening of the bridge decongested the city’s roads.

Its closure had resulted in traffic jams the likes of which have never been seen before in the city.
‘‘It’s a relief," said Enteria.

The project is not finished yet though. The firm said the project would continue until September.
The retrofitting work would be focused on the bridge’s columns, said the project engineer.

"can be read at Gold Star Daily >Link

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