CLARK FREEPORT – A truck ban during rush hour as well as a quarry road and even a tourism road are seen to ease traffic congestion along the MacArthur Highway from the City of San Fernando (CSF) to Angeles City.
CSF Mayor Edwin “Edsa” D. Santiago said the city is now helping with some of the issues confronting the establishment of the quarry road especially on the right-of-way (ROW).
Santiago said he is enjoining the cooperation of all concerned from the national government, provincial government and the local government units (LGUs).
Santiago brought up the issue in the media forum “Talk Widus” organized by the Pampanga Press Club in cooperation with Widus Hotel and Casino at the hotel’s Prism Lounge here last Wednesday.
The mayor was accompanied by Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (PamCham) president Rene Romero who made the same observations in easing traffic congestion along the national highway.
Santiago said first is the so-called Quarry Road from Porac town leading to the SCTEx in a four-kilometer stretch.
He said the second is the establishment of a Tourism Road from Barangay Del Rosario to Barangay Sindalan in CSF and on to Mexico town exit of the NLEx. “But we must regulate this because it gets constricted,” he added.
“So, now I made a follow up since there is a provision in the Bacolor Development Law of the establishment of a quarry road that is parallel to the megadike,” Santiago said.
“But the feasibility study is till with the consultant because the problem, even if the corresponding law and funds are already there, is the ROW,” the mayor pointed out. “So, we are helping them on this issue.”
“The rule of thumb of right-of-way is always 50 percent of the total project,” he explained. “The national government won’t agree to a parallel road inside the dike because the government still considers the inside of the dike as a restricted zone.”
The mayor said heavy trucks will no longer traverse the MacArthur Highway and pass through Paning’s with the establishment of the Phase 1 of the Tourism Road from Porac town to Barangay Del Rosario in CSF.
He said the city government we will help in the ROW issue to expediate the project.
Santiago said he had the same predicament with traffic congestion with the establishment of SM City Telabastagan in 2017. “I refused to accept that Angeles City and San Fernando will be separated because of development. So, I ask for a service road from SM because our aim is to easily connect CSF to Clark,” the mayor explained.
Santiago said the city government undertook an in-depth study in “traffic impact analysis” to resolve the issue. Otherwise, traffic congestion will be from Barangay Sindalan all the way to SM Telabastagan.
“So, now with the service road in place, it mitigated the congestion and traffic is flowing,” he said.
Santiago also said there is now a road from Pau, Pandaras in CSF to Minalin town so that these areas will be developed and Sto. Tomas town will now be included in the development.
He said the city council will pass a law that will still get 30 to 40 meters in the tail dike in order to promote environment tourism and connect the quarry road to the new road – Pau-Pandaras-Sto. Tomas-Minalin- Sasmuan-Lubao which is a P20 billion to P40 billion project if it reaches Subic.
Romero said the Department of Public Works and Highways project is called the “Southern Pampanga Byways Project” from Pau, Sto. Tomas to NLEx and it will pass through Dinalupihan, Bataan.
Romero said the Quarry Road will begin in Barangay Manuali in Porac all the way to the Pampanga Southern Bypass.