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Guv to meet stakeholders on bridge repair issue

| by: Xerxes Alkuino

Governor Hilario P. Davide III will call for a meeting with stakeholders to find a solution to the “horrendous traffic” caused by the Mactan-Cebu bridge repairs.

The issues and concerns regarding the ongoing repairs will be tackled in this year’s first quarterly meeting of the Mactan-Cebu Bridge Management Board (MCBMB) on February 17.

Provincial Information Office Chief Ethel Taneo-Natera said the MCBMB scheduled meeting was agreed based on the availability of the participants.

While traffic concerns are primarily a responsibility of the local government units, Natera said Governor Davide is worried on the extent of thebridge repairs’ effects on the Cebuanos, especially the business community and the riding public.  Expected to be in the agenda for the Feb. 17 meeting are the agreed plans of the cities of Mandaue and Lapu-lapu,as based on their initial discussions.

Governor Davide and Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama also had their own discussions on the issue on Wednesday (Feb. 10).

Representatives from the Mactan Economic Processing Zone Authority (MEPZA), Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority, GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation as well as some businessmen will be invited to the meeting.

All the affected utilities will be called to the meeting as well. The Metro Cebu Water District owns the pipes placed under the bridge. Also invited is Roger Lim, general manager of East Asia Utilities, which is the sole power provider to the Mactan Export Zone. East Asia’s 69 kV lines also run across the bridge.

Officials from the city governments of Lapu-lapu and Mandaue and the contractor of the project,Jegma Construction and Development Corporation, will also be requested to attend.

The repair of the first bridge started last February 8. It caused traffic gridlock for commuters and motorists coming from Mactan Island to the mainland and vice versa.

A local daily quoted Cebu City Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella as saying he was stuck in traffic for four hours, when he accompanied his child to the Mactan Airport last Tuesday (February 9).

Authorities initially plan to offer ferry and barge services to commuters as one of the solutions to the problem.