CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—House Deputy Speaker and Pampanga Third District representative, Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales, Jr. has proposed another ambitious infrastructure project intended to mitigate traffic problems in this Pampanga city.
Before the holiday break, Gonzales said initial steps will already be undertaken this year leading to the eventual construction of a 1.59-kilometer viaduct to replace the two existing flyovers along the Jose Abad Santos Avenue (Jasa) here.
Some P14 million has already been allocated for the viaduct’s detailed engineering design, bidding of which shall be undertaken in the first quarter of this year.
Gonzales said he will ask the national government to fund the project whether thru the general appropriations act or financing from the Overseas Development Assistance in the amount of at least P2.5 billion.
The viaduct was among the infrastructure initiatives Gonzales had intimated with the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (Pamcham) seven years ago when asked about his plan to address traffic congestion in the capital city.
To date, two flyovers are operational in the city, with at least one requiring immediate and major repair. Both bridges, which are made of steel, are off limits to heavy trucks. Jasa is a national highway that runs from Arayat town all the way to the western tip of Pampanga.
“The proposal is for the existing roads below to be fully operational even as the viaduct is already aligned. Vehicles passing thru the capital city can bypass at least two intersections,” Gonzales explained. Aside from the two major intersections—Lazatin Boulevard and MacArthur Highway—Jasa is disected by several minor roads that also cause choke points.
“These traffic points can also be avoided if one will use the viaduct,” Gonzales said. Earlier, Gonzales also proposed the construction of a new viaduct at the Candaba Swamp portion of the North Luzon Expressway.