DPWH, Lobregat dialogue with lot owners over road widening project PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 29 September 2015 14:12

by Jubels Santos

Officials of the Department of Public Works & Highways (DPWH) Regional Office invited District 1 Congressman Celso Lobregat to a coordination meeting to address concerns raised by lot owners to be affected by the road-widening project at the San Jose Gusu Section of the west coast highway.

The meeting was held at the DPWH regional office last Saturday and attended by officials and personnel of the agency headed by Assistant Regional Director Evangeline Robles.

Also present were several lot owners who earlier expressed apprehension over the effect of the road expansion on their business establishments and private residences.

Based on the DPWH assessment, there are some 70 lot owners along the San Jose Gusu road section whose properties, inclusive of land and structures, will be affected once the widening of the road will be implemented.

Congressman Lobregat spoke after the project engineer briefed participants on the details of the road-widening project, and explained the reasons and necessity to widen the road stretch from its junction with Baliwasan Chico up to the area near the junction with San Roque road.

Lobregat said the San Jose Gusu road section which is only two-lane and 6.7 meters wide has become a bottleneck and is causing traffic congestion to and from the west coast area.

Lobregat said the widening of the west coast started during the incumbency of then Congresswoman Maria Clara Lobregat. The Calarian road portion was widened during her term as congresswoman. The widening of the west coast road was continued by Congressman Celso Lobregat during his two terms as congressman from 1998 to 2004. The portions of the west coast road that were widened were the Sto Niño-Baliwasan section and the continuation of the Calarian-Sinunuc section.

Since then up to now, the widening of the west coast road is on-going reaching as far as the ECOZONE area. However, there is still heavy traffic in the west coast road because the 1.3 km section from Baliwasan Chico to Calarian remains a two lane road. The only way to ease the traffic to and from the west coast is to widen this portion of the road.

Congressman Lobregat explained that he identified this 200-million-peso road project as a priority in the 2015 budget.

The DPWH has programmed the widening of the 1.3 km existing two-lane road by a maximum of 9 meters more from the edge of the existing concrete pavement. Specifically this will  start from Baliwasan Chico junction all the way to the unwidened portion of the San Jose Gusu/Calarian section. The widening will consist of an additional two lanes (3.35 meters per lane)  with provisions  for sidewalk and drainage facility.

There were many questions propounded by affected lot owners and Congressman Lobregat together with the DPWH  officials responded to said questions.

One question raised was why is the widening only on one side or only on the right side of the road going from Baliwasan Chico to the west coast. Lobregat and the DPWH responded that based on actual field conditions, there are much less permanent structures and buildings on the right side of the road and it will take much longer and more difficult to implement if the widening is done on both sides of the road.

The DPWH also stated that in the long run, there will be similar widening of the left side  and it is envisioned that a fly-over will be built on the Baliwasan Chico-Airport Road and San Jose road junction.

An official of the DPWH said they will be conducting  actual measurement of the portions of the affected private properties along the right side of the road which will be needed by the government for the widening project.  Based on the actual measurements, negotiations with the lot owners will proceed.

To be affected include some buildings or structures with either heavy or light materials and some vacant lots for which building and lot owners concerned will be compensated depending on the extent of the land and/or structure to be taken in order to give way to the road expansion, it was clarified during the meeting. --Jubels Santos