CIVIL works on the 39.88-kilometer Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) will begin in the first week of April this year.
Cebu City Councilor James Anthony Cuenco, committee on transportation chairman, said the bidding for the undertaking of the civil works is expected to be done in February with the awarding of the contract taking place in March.
Cuenco said the first phase of the BRT project — from the Cebu South Bus Terminal (CSBT) on N. Bacalso Ave. to the Cebu Provincial Capitol on Osmeña Blvd. — will be constructed first with the installation of infrastructure like bus terminals along the BRT line.
He said the first phase should be partially operational by December this year.
Included in the preparation for the first phase of the project is the earth-balling of 228 trees.
In a letter Cebu City Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) head Editha Peros sent to City Councilor Joel Garganera, she recommended the filing of a resolution “interposing no objection” for the earth-balling of 225 Indian and three Ficus trees.
Peros said the seven barangays where the trees are located already endorsed a “no objection” to the activity, which is expected to cost around P30 million.
The trees are located in Barangays San Antonio, Pahina Central, Sambag 1, Kalubihan, Capitol Site, Sta. Cruz and Sambag 2.
City Councilor Nestor Archival said the City should consult experts before earth-balling the trees, considering “there is a proper process to do it.”
Cuenco said the City is also looking at areas where the trees can be transferred and replanted.
With the first phase of the BRT project already set, Cuenco said officials are preparing for the second phase of the project, which will run from Barangay Bulacao to Talamban.
Cuenco said the acquisition of lots that will be affected by the second phase is expected to be “more bloody” with around 150 establishments involved.
As early as now, he said, officials are meeting lot owners.
The BRT project, which has a total budget of P17 billion, will extend to Talisay City, including the length of feeder lines. (JJL)