ILOILO – To relieve motorists and commuters of traffic, two flyovers will be constructed along Sen. Benigno S. Aquino Jr. Avenue in the municipality of Pavia.
According to Sen. Franklin Drilon, one of the flyovers will be built at the intersection of Sen. Benigno S. Aquino Jr. Avenue and the 14-kilometer President Corazon Aquino Avenue in Barangay Ungka II.
The other flyover will be constructed at the junction of Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. Avenue and Felix Gorriceta Jr. Avenue in Barangay Aganan.
“We have to move quickly to solve this traffic congestion which irks drivers, commuters and tourists. We must prevent being compared to Metro Manila and Cebu City in terms of the gravity of traffic. It will not be good for the image of the city that we have worked hard on for several years,” Drilon said.
The 10-lane, 15-kilometer Sen. Benigno Avenue serves as the main thoroughfare from Iloilo City to the Iloilo Airport in Cabatuan, Iloilo.
Both flyovers, to be implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), will have four lanes with lengths ranging from 220 to 260 meters.
There is already a P190-million allocation lodged under the 2019 budget of DPWH to finish the feasibility studies and commence the construction of the flyovers, said Drilon.
The feasibility studies are expected to be completed next month, DPWH Region 6 director Lea Delfinado informed Drilon.
“The construction of these two flyovers will reduce traffic in those areas. We hope to push away traffic from these major thoroughfares,” the senator stressed.
DPWH estimated their cost at P740 million. Drilon said he will push additional budget in the proposed 2020 national budget to complete their construction.
Drilon initiated the construction of the Sen. Benigno S. Aquino Jr. Avenue and the President Corazon Aquino Avenue during the Aquino administration. They now serve as main gateways to Iloilo City, easing traffic congestion.
The roads are now a commercial strip, dotted by new hotels and business establishment.
However, the rapid rise of Iloilo and the influx of tourists, Drilon acknowledged, caused traffic congestions particularly during rush hours (from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.).
“We will address the traffic congestion in the area. While traffic is a sign of development, we cannot let it continue as it will affect our reputation as one of the few livable cities in the country, as well as our bid to make Iloilo a MICE destination,” Drilon said.
The Ilonggo senator was referring to his campaign, together with the Department of Tourism, to position Iloilo as premier destination for meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibits or MICE.
Drilon, who led the transformation of Iloilo as a progressive and fully developed city, was given tribute by Iloilo business leaders Friday night last week./PN