The first pedestrian overpass funded by the national Road Board in Bacolod City was inaugurated yesterday in front of the Antonio L. Jayme Elementary School in Barangay Mansilingan.
Abraham Villareal, district engineer of the Department of Public Works and Highways, said the budget for the overpass was P10.9 million, but its contract price was P9.8 million.
Villareal said the project was completed January, this year.
Theda Limbaña, principal of ALJES, thanked the DPWH, the Road Board, the Bacolod City government and the Congressional Office for the pedestrian overpass, and suggested if they can put a roofto shield the passing pupils from the rain and the heat of the sun, and if they can modify the steel barriers to prevent the pedestrians, especially children from falling.
Ed Conchu, comptroller of the Road Board meanwhile, said that there is a standard design for the pedestrian overpass, however it can be flexible.
“Because in the other areas in Metro Manila, they were having squatters (at the overpass) but on a case-to-case basis, we can probably look into it in the future,” Conchu said.
There are locations in Metro Manila where the Road Board had to take off the roofing because the overpasses became a home for vendors and people are squatting there, he said.
But if the location in Bacolod is applicable with a roof, the Road Board will look into it, Conchu said.
The overpass was approved when Mayor EvelioLeonardia was still the congressman, and was followed up by now BacolodRep. Greg Gasataya.
Leonardia thanked the Road Board, Gasataya, and the DPWH for finishing the construction of the overpass despite the problems they had encountered.
He underscored the fact that the project was realized because of the harmonious relationship between the mayor and the congressman, and the support of the city council led by Vice Mayor El CidFamiliaran.
“I hope that this is put to good use as this is not just for traffic purposes, but more importantly, for the safety of our schoolchildren,”Leonardia said.
Familiaran, meanwhile,said that the overpass project is not only to address congestion on the road, but it is also for the safety of pedestrians. He urged parents to educate their children in using the overpass.
The Road Board, which is a government steward that implements road repair, road safety, and air pollution control, is also eyeing three more pedestrian overpasses in Bacolod, Conchu said.
Villareal said they are still identifying these areas where foot bridges will be built, and will divulge the details once necessary documents are secured.
Gasataya said possible areas they requested for the overpasses are at Araneta Street near the old airport, where many pedestrians have figured in road accidents, near the Bacolod Government Center and at the north terminal.
Aside from the pedestrian overpasses, Conchu said they are also set to implement potential asphalt overlay projects for repair of Bacolod roads.
Conchu said the Road Board now has P26 billion in national funds to be allocated for projects in provinces in the whole country.
“We will be putting more money in the Visayas and Mindanao,” Conchu said.
Also at the blessing and inauguration were Road Board public information officer Philip Palma, Barangay Mansilingan officials, and pupils, teachers, and parents of A. L. Jayme Elementary School.*SGG
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