BUSINESSMEN: DELAY BRIDGE CLOSURE OR PROVIDE TEMPORARY ACCESS
Mayor James “Bong” Gordon mediated on the dialogue held between the Metro-Olongapo Chamber of Commerce (MOCCI) and Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Project Management Office last January 20, 2010 at FMA, Olongapo City Hall.
At the said meeting, resort and business owners reacted on SBMA’s plan to close Kalaklan Lighthouse Bridge for motorists motorista on February 15, 2010 and for pedestrian on March 1, 2010.
According to Joselito Bakuteza, head of SBMA Project Management Office, the existing bridge that connects Olongapo and SBFZ will be closed down to give way for the construction of a new two-lane concrete bridge.
“The bridge’s impending closure will definitely affect our business. Most of our visitors in the summer are day tourists. If the average traveling time from Manila to Subic is 4 hours and another 4 hours going back, visitors have no time left to enjoy their day and if that is the case, tourists will not come here anymore. If you really need to close down the bridge, do it after the summer season so that our business will not suffer too much. We have employees to think of and our employees have families and children to tend,” said representatives from MOCCI.
Meanwhile , Col. Aquino , head of Olongapo City Office of Traffic Management and Public Safety (OTMPS), accounted that the closure of Kalaklan Lighthouse Bridge will result to an approximate of 2500 additional vehicles passing through Olongapo’s streets and will adversely affect several hundreds of pedestrians who pass thru the bridge every day.
“If you need to demolish the existing bridge for the construction of a new one, you have to provide an alternative for us because the bridge’s closure will certainly create traffic and congestion plus the downbeat to the tourism industry. The contractor and SBMA can provide a bailey bridge to temporarily accommodate motorists and pedestrians until the new bridge is finished,” Mayor Gordon suggested to Bakuteza.
Bakuteza said that he will relay the queries and suggestions raised to the contractor and to SBMA.
Should the Kalaklan Lighthouse Bridge be closed on the planned dates without an agreed solution that would be beneficial to all concerns, the closure will definitely affect the business peak seasons of resort-hotel owners in Barretto and in neighboring towns in Zambales as well.
Resort and business owners who are members of the MOCCI or Metro-Olongapo Chamber of Commerce appealed to the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Project Management Office to reconsider their plan of closing the
on February 2010. According to MOCCI, the tourism and business industries in Barretto and other neighboring towns will be adversely affected by the closure since travelling time to Kalaklan Lighthouse Bridge Subic and back is expected to increase due to traffic and congestion that is bound to happen in access roads to Olongapo via Barretto and Zambales when the bridge closes. (Photo/Caption Courtesy of PAO)
Video report on bridge closure
Construction of the New Kalaklan Lighthouse Bridge and Security Plaza
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