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THE CONTROVERSIAL FLYOVER project may not push through at all after local government officials and lawmakers said road widening and opening of new roads are far more important to decongest vehicular traffic in Zamboanga.

Rep. Cesar Jimenez, of District 1, where the flyover project is being eyed by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), said the overpass bridge may not be pursued anymore.

An aerial view of Zamboanga City. (Zamboanga Post)

Mayor Beng Climaco also agreed with Jimenez and said opening new roads and widening the streets, especially in downtown areas and adjacent barangays, are needed to decongest the worsening traffic problems due to the growing numbers of motorists here.

“We need to widen the roads first because it is very urgent for us for the passage of people in order to decongest traffic. We leave it (flyover project) to the City Engineer’s Office, Dr. (Elmeir) Apolinario (of the Zamboanga City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office) and DPWH to look at finishing the bypass road so this will also ease traffic and provide alternative route,” she said.

Climaco said there is a need for a feasibility study for future overpass bridge. “We are pro-development and nowadays, even our traffic management needs to come up with a plan or study to assess the impact before and after the project is implemented, and so we also need feasibility studies of flyover project in the future,” she said.

Jimenez said he will work closely with the DPWH and other concerned government agencies with regards to the road projects and other alternative routes here to solve the pestering traffic problems.

The flyover project became so controversial after then Rep. Celso Lobregat – who ran for mayor and defeated in the midterm polls – insisted that the overpass bridge must be constructed immediately despite the failure of DPWH to comply with the requirements set by the local government.

DPWH also had insisted in the past for the construction of the project even without the necessary road widening. Climaco has repeatedly said in public that the local government is supporting the implementation of national infrastructure here, including the proposed flyover project, but reiterated that there is a dire need to first widen the roads affected by the construction of the overpass.

The overpass project would cost about P600 million and is expected to be completed in at least 500 days or more considering how slow the DPWH in their public works.

Last December, the DPWH conducted a traffic dry run in areas affected by the flyover project to mimic construction works, but it only drew angry reactions from motorists and commuters as well because of the chaotic situation it created even for just a week. (Zamboanga Post)


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