Romero to DPWH: ‘Engineering intervention needed to save investments’

Pampanga businessman Rene Romero has urged immediate engineering intervention on the Dolores Flyover and Lazatin Flyover to resolve the perennial traffic that had been affecting businesses in the City of San Fernando.

During a consultative meeting at the Heroes Hall in the City of San Fernando on Wednesday afternoon, Romero has expressed fears the problems being created by the two obsolete flyovers had exacerbated traffic conditions in the capital city and driving away potential investors.

Romero said the City of San Fernando stands to lose precious investments because potential investors are thinking twice if they will locate in an area with the unresolved perennial traffic congestion.

Romero urged the DPWH representatives to implement immediate engineering intervention to strengthen the MNR Flyover and Lazatin Flyover, both of which had a life span of only five years. The temporary bridges were built in 2007. “Eye pu palambatan ing problema dakal makalunus.”

Romero asked government engineers until when the people will suffer. This, as Romero cited that there is no budget for a permanent bridge that will replace the two obsolete bridges.

“Balamu akakit ke pu ing problema maging permanent ya pu. Pangilagan de ing Dolores ampo San Fernando. We can see the problem and we want to help San Fernando. Susulat kami pu eyu kami papansinan. Sasarilinan yu, sasabyan yu magkasakit kayukukwang funding,” said Romero. (I can see that the problem will become permanent. We were communicating our concerns but you were not heeding our call. You do not want to involve us, you were saying that you were having a hard time trying to get funding).

The number of vehicles plying JASA on a daily basis was estimated at 7,845 vehicles consisting of quarry trucks, delivery trucks, buses, and private vehicles. In a 2028 traffic count, some 17,837 vehicles are passing through the City of San Fernando on a daily basis.

The CSF LGU has proposed the following interventions to minimize traffic: installation of vertical clearance, implementation of truck ban EO at JASA, coordination with NLEX for diversion, and postponement of McArthur Highway Road Rehab near JASA.

The DPWH representatives has also expressed fears that if the traffic congestion continues, accidents may happen in the two bridges if overloaded trucks will inadvertently stop on top of the flyovers which cannot support heavy weight. These flyovers might collapse, according to the DPWH engineers.

The DPWH engineers said the temporary solution is retrofitting of the flyovers to allow them to be serviceable for several years more.

For his part, Romero urged the DPWH to strengthen the two infrastructure and implement retrofitting immediately.

P3B Needed for Permanent Bridge

The DPWH representatives said it will cost P3 billion to construct a permanent structure to replace the two flyovers – a single 1.5-kilometer bridge that will connect the two bridges. They said it will take three years to construct the proposed permanent bridge.

A detailed engineering design will be submitted to NEDA for approval but funding for the said project is not assured.

Romero urged the DPWH to work hand-in-hand with the CSF LGU led by Mayor Vilma Caluag and the business group led by the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PAMCHAM).

Meanwhile, the CSF councilors have urged the consultative body to invite all Pampanga LGUs in the next consultative meeting because “this problem on traffic affects the whole Pampanga province.”
“They cannot feel the urgency (of the problem),”
said a representative of the Regional Development Council.

City of San Fernando Mayor Caluag said: “Personal ku pung lalakad at manyawad saup. Mamalimus kupu para midinan la pondu reng prohektu.” (I am personally seeking assistance from people in the government who would be able to help us to provide funding for the projects).

Caluag said the two old bridges can no longer accommodate heavy trucks citing the need to limit the entry of heavy trucks along the JASA Road. “Mipag adjust nung pilan la pamu reng dumalan keng JASA. Ana pung kasakit ing kabilyan tamu buri ku safety.”

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