THE multimillion-peso underpass that traverses Barangays Mambaling and Basak San Nicolas in Cebu City was flooded because of heavy rains on Wednesday morning, March 31, 2021.
As a result, the Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7 decided to close the underpass to traffic, causing a logjam along the national highway and interior roads in Cebu City’s southern corridor.
Engineer Nonito Paylado of the DPWH 7 said four water pumps were functioning at the time of the downpour, but the machines ultimately failed to withstand the deluge.
City Councilor Jerry Guardo, chairman of the committee on infrastructure, said the underpass was opened to traffic after the flood subsided around 11 a.m.
The DPWH 7 spent nearly P700 million on the construction of the underpass through the efforts of Rep. Rodrigo Abellanosa (Cebu City South District). The construction started in 2016 and it was completed three years later.
One of those affected by the flooding was Land Transportation Office 7 Director Victor Caindec, who lives in the south district.
He expressed his frustration on his Facebook account, describing the underpass as a “canal.”
The trip of City Councilor Eduardo Rama Jr., who lives near the underpass, was also delayed.
“I was on my way to the City Hall this morning. I wondered why the traffic was so bad and I later learned the tunnel was closed,” he said.
He said the City Council had called the DPWH 7 to its sessions “numerous times,” but he said the flooding problem in the underpass is “still unresolved.”
“It cost almost P1 billion, and it is a pet project of our congressman here in the south district that he claimed to solve the flooding problem. Please solve it,” Rama said in Cebuano.
Guardo said the Cebu City Government could not do anything to solve the underpass flooding problem as the DPWH 7 still manages and maintains it. (PAC / KAL)