Major infrastructure projects outside Tagbilaran City, both under-construction and at the planning stage, are expected to address the worsening traffic condition in the province’s capital mainly due to narrow roads and lack of proper parking spaces.
According to Tagbilaran City Administrator Leonides Borja, completion of the international airport in Panglao would ease traffic in major roads particularly Gallares Street which leads to the province’s lone operating airport and is deemed the city’s “busiest thoroughfare.”
The number of vehicles going in and out of the Tagbilaran City Airport and Tagbilaran City Tourist Port is projected to significantly drop once commercial operations at the Panglao Bohol International Airport commences, said Borja.
In an earlier interview with the Chronicle, Ocean Fast Ferries, Inc. operations manager Gene Lastimado said that the firm is in the initial stages of building its own seaport in Baclayon as part of preparations for the opening of the new airport.
The project was designed to cut travel time for airline passengers who have connecting travels on board a fastcraft, rerouting them away from the congested streets of Tagbilaran City and straight to the private port, he said.
According to Lastimado, construction of the pier has been initially set to commence next year as the company has started to coordinate with the Philippine Ports Authority and to secure required documents for the construction of the multi-million-peso project.
It will be built near the Tagbilaran-Baclayon boundary across the Englewood Hospital, Lastimado said assuring that there will be no need for reclamation as it will be a floating facility.
Meanwhile, the Tagbilaran City government continued to study and consider measures to alleviate the city’s traffic condition including the implementation of a loop system and the creation of diversion roads.
Borja, however, pointed out that while the Tagbilaran airport operates, roads leading to the facility particularly Gallares Street would remain congested during rush hours and plane arrivals.
In his last visit to Bohol earlier this month, Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said that P7.8-billion Panglao airport is now “55 percent complete” and projected to start catering to commercial flights in August next year.
Should there be no hitches, the Tagbilaran City Airport will be used as site for an IT (information technology) park based on initial plans of the province. (A. Doydora)