Residents of Parañaque City were given a temporary reprieve from a possible traffic gridlock after the City Government and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority today ordered the Department of Public Works and Highways to postpone indefinitely the 45-day repair of the Sucat Interchange Bridge which was supposed to start this Saturday, August 2.
Parañaque City Mayor Edwin L. Olivarez said that his office, in coordination with the office of MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino, ordered the repair stoppage because the DPWH failed to notify the MMDA and the city government in advance.
The mayor said he received the letter of the DPWH district engineer about the planned repair only last Friday, and the MMDA learned of the plan only after Mayor Olivarez issued an advisory about the possible traffic jams resulting from the bridge closure.
“The Sucat Interchange bridge retrofitting has been held in abeyance. This should give us more time to prepare contingency measures and alternative routes to mitigate the effect of the bridge repair on our constituents and motorists,” Mayor Olivarez said.
Even with the postponement of the bridge repair, which would cause massive traffic jams along Dr. A. Santos Avenue (Sucat Road), Ninoy Aquino Avenue and the East and West Service Roads of the SLEX, the mayor said they are looking at the implementation of a wider truck ban in Parañaque.
“Even without the interchange bridge repair, traffic is already too heavy along Dr. A. Santos Avenue and other major thoroughfares in the city, so we are leaning towards the implementation of a selective truck ban along major roads in the coming weeks,” Mayor Olivarez said.
The planned truck ban, according to the mayor, is already covered by an existing city ordinance which has not been fully implemented because many businesses in the city, which is adjacent the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, are dependent on trucking.
He said they will hold consultations with the truckers’ association in Parañaque in the coming days to work out details of the proposed truck ban which, based on the existing ordinance, will be in effect from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. in the morning and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the evening.
Mayor Olivarez said the truck ban will mainly cover heavy trailer trucks, container vans, transit mixers, and haulers of sand and aggregates, among others. The ban will be in effect in major roads like Sucat Road, Ninoy Aquino Avenue, Quirino Avenue, and the East and West Service Roads.
“Hopefully, this will help alleviate traffic in the city, and should contribute to lesser traffic jams if and when the DPWH resumes the repair work on the Sucat Interchange,” the mayor added.