Several lanes along major roads in Cebu City will be closed to give way to the ongoing construction of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) this month.
The road closures will affect common chokepoints in the city, namely N. Bacalso Avenue and Osmeña Boulevard, where many vehicles pass by.
Motorists are expected to experience minor inconveniences, as some roads will only have one lane available, while others will be forced to take alternative routes.
This is in line with the second phase of the BRT construction, which consists of the excavation for the foundation, the installation of the footings, and the pouring of cement on the pavement.
The BRT is the newest government project in Cebu that aims to alleviate traffic problems through a more organized transport system, where passengers can stop at different stations to board buses en route to busy areas around the city.
The initial plan consists of three stations that will connect South Road Properties to IT Park.
For 20 days starting October 2nd, a portion of Osmeña Boulevard will be closed to give way for the construction of the station near Capitol.
The closed area spans the corner of N. Escario up to J. Avila Street, right across from Cebu Provincial Capitol. This is a commonly used road for vehicles coming from Fuente Osmeña Circle heading to uptown areas like Ayala and IT Park.
The Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) released rerouting plans for both private and public vehicles passing by the area.
Northbound private vehicles must now take a right turn at J. Avila Street, right next to Mercury Drug. From there they go straight until they reach Silogan ni Gian, then turn left going to N. Escario Street.
Public utility vehicles going to Apas or Lahug from Fuente will now take a right to M.P. Yap Street near BDO, then go straight to Juana Osmeña. They then take a right at Mic Check karaoke bar en route to the rest of the uptown areas.
Meanwhile, southbound jeepneys will have to take a left turn at Bo’s Coffee, then take a right to Don Gil Garcia Street going to M. Velez.
Subsequently, northbound jeepneys coming from the south, such as Mango Jeeps, no longer have to cross Don Gil Garcia street to get to N. Escario. Drivers can now take a left turn at N. Escario when they reach the 7-Eleven near the National Bureau of Investigation.
N. BACALSO AVENUE
On N. Bacalso Avenue, on the other hand, the inner lanes from Elizabeth Mall to Cebu South Bus Terminal have already been closed since September. The road closure is expected to run for two months.
Unlike at Osmeña Boulevard, no major road rerouting has been put in place for both public and private vehicles. This may change if the CCTO makes any announcements about rerouting.
As mentioned, only one lane will be used around the area going to Asian College of Technology, but the intersection going to Colon Street will still be open.
Cebu BRT started constructing the first phase of their project in January this year, and it may partially operate within the last four months of the year.
Initial plans slate it to be fully operational in 2025.