THE Tagum flyover is now open to motorists beginning Monday, October 4, 2021.
The City Government of Tagum said in a statement that the 1.6-kilometer flyover, which it claimed as the longest of its kind in Visayas and Mindanao, aims to help control the number of vehicles traversing at the city's business center.
The flyover, which was constructed in 2017, is one of the flagship infrastructure projects of the "Build, Build, Build" program.
The 1.6-kilometer flyover along Tagum’s Daang Maharlika National Highway has a total cost of P2.7 billion.
According to Tagum City Ordinance No. 946 or the Traffic Code, and Republic Act 4136, all types of vehicles are allowed to pass through the overpass, except tricycle, pedicab, bicycle, and primer and trailer trucks weighing 40 tons.
Vehicles are also prohibited from stopping at any part of the overpass. Jogging and walking on the overpass are also prohibited.
Tagum City Mayor Allan Rellon said in an interview that based on their recent coordination meeting with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the flyover will be passable to vehicles by the last quarter of 2021.
He added that this is in preparation for the planned rerouting of vehicles to pave the way for the completion and concreting of the highway beneath it.
He said the vehicles will be redirected to the flyover as some portions of the six-lane highway will be paved.
He added that they expect the full completion of the project by the first quarter of 2022.
"Ilahang gi-advise na mabawasan ang sakyanan sa ubos para maka-focus sila og tiwas sa pag-pave sa ubos sa flyover (nga) dili pa concrete ang pavement,” Rellon said in a recent interview.
(They advised to lessen the vehicles below so that they can focus on finishing the pavements, which is still not concrete.)
Rellon admitted that the construction of the flyover had met with various opposition from both the business sector and critics.
"Miagi ni'g mga pagsulay. Naa'y post sa una nga dili... i-deprioritize ni, dili idayon, dili kinahanglan, but gipaglaban sa atong opisyales sa city (The construction of the flyover has met with different challenges. There was a post online that the flyover should be deprioritized, or should not be pushed through. Some even say that it is not needed. But our city government officials defended it), backed with our governor and congressman. Now, it's a reality,” he said.
The project was also questioned by former Davao del Norte governor Rodolfo del Rosario, who said the project did not go through a proper process. He added that the flyover project is not necessary.
“For me, putting up a flyover is not the solution. Why not put up traffic lights and hire more traffic enforcers?” Del Rosario said in a 2019 interview.
Tagum City planning and development coordinator Sonny Manigo, however, said the flyover underwent a proper process.
In response to criticisms about the flyover project, the DPWH-Davao office said the overpass is meant to address the anticipated growth of Tagum's economy.
Meanwhile, the mayor also hoped that Tagumenyos would take care of the flyover.