As Lacson Street is the longest and most vital main street in Bacolod City, the newly replaced and widened bridge in it “will change the complexion of traffic in the city,” Mayor Evelio Leonardia said Tuesday at the inauguration of the replaced Magsungay bridge at Lacson Extension leading to the Murcia-Alijis road.
Leonardia said the inauguration of the newly-improved bridge excited him because of the impact of this project on the traffic and development of Bacolod.
The bridge spans the Magsungay River along Lacson Extension leading to the Murcia-Alijis road and its original two lanes were expanded into four.
The new bridge is strategically located so it will easily connect downtown Bacolod to Alijis, Tangub, Pahanocoy, Cabug, Sum-ag, Mansilingan, and Handumanan, he said.
“Given the volume of cars using this road, this will surely improve traffic flow because not only is the bridge now four lanes, even the road leading from it up to Magsaysay Avenue was also widened into 4 lanes,” the mayor added.
“And as this connects to the other newly widened bridge crossing the Lupit river near the San Antonio Abad Parish Church, its traffic impact on this extremely busy road network is going to be very significant,” he added.
This bridge will be put to real good use, Leonardia said.
The rehabilitation project included replacing the original steel bridge with the 4-lane concrete bridge, drainage installation with sidewalks, riprapping part of the riverbank for flood control mitigation, and the construction and widening of the road from the bridge all the way to Magsaysay Avenue.
The original steel bridge that was dismantled will be reconstructed over a river in Barangay Vista Alegre to connect it with Barangay Granada and also serve the relocation sites there.
REVIVE THE ECONOMY
Leonardia said the bridge project was one of the major infrastructure projects funded by the loan of the city government with the Development Bank of the Philippines.
“With the DBP loan, we will have more projects. And more projects mean more jobs, and more economic stimulation. It will be one of the factors to revive the local economy,” he said.
“This is a big improvement and the next step to do is to see to it that we should recover and have everything in place because Bacolod was growing the fastest ever, before the Covid crisis came,” the mayor added.
“For me, Covid is just a temporary stop for sure. As soon as the crisis is over, we will go back to business and we will be back on track, and this project is part of that recovery program. Let’s celebrate this brand new project, among others. We are on the road to recovery and on the way out of the tunnel. As soon as we’re out of here, this will play a vital role in the growth and development of Bacolod,” he added.
For Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, every project of the mayor is a gift to all of us. “This is a sign of progress.”
‘IF COVID DID NOT HAPPEN’
Familiaran said many projects, both private and public funded, temporarily stopped because of Covid. “If only it did not happen, we can only imagine how fast our development would have been as a city,” he added.
The vice mayor also said the mayor is giving top priority to the public health safety of Bacolodnons. One of these is to prioritize the procurement of vaccines once available, so people can go back to their normal lives.
Rep. Greg Gasataya, who was represented by congressional consultant Mark Steven Mayo, said, “We believe this project is a clear manifestation that we have leaders who never give up no matter how tough the situation is. Mayor Bing is the man who gets the job done.”
“Congratulations to the men and women behind this project, and congratulations even more to the people of Bacolod for we have a leader who shows us that the city is as resilient as he is, as resilient as we are – if we just work together,” Mayo added.
Jerry Sy, president of Silver Dragon Construction, the private contractor that won the public bidding for the project, thanked the city government for the opportunity to serve Bacolod through this infrastructure.
Joining the inauguration ceremony were councilors Renecito Novero, Ana Marie Palermo, and Bartolome Orola, City Administrator Em Ang, special consultant John Orola, Bacolod City Police Office director Col. Manuel Placido, and barangay captains Rosinie Distrito of Singcang-Airport, Deogracias Dela Vega of Alijis, and Tanya Familiaran of Barangay13.
OFFICIALS PRESENT Also at the event were DBP-Bacolod Lending Center head Bernardo Castillon Jr., DBP-Western Visayas Branch Banking Group head Rosemarie Callanta, City Engineer’s Office OIC Aladino Agbones, project engineer Amy Tentia, engineers Arnold Ea and Loben Rafael Ceballos, supervising and administrative officer Federico Guanzon Jr., executive assistant Butch Soliguen, congressional chief of staff Hugo “Tutay” Corral, Grupo Progreso consultant Marlon Solidum, Sugar Ababao of New Bridge, Richie Corpuz of Pau D’ Arco, and BCPO and BTAO personnel.*