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MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte , Feb. 20 (PIA) – Maasin City will get an alternative link to the commercial district through a 4.71-kilometer coastal bypass road with reclamation component  meant to ease traffic woes and expand the city’s development.

Department of Public Works and Highways Southern Leyte District Engineering Office (DPWH-SLDEO) Engineer Ma. Margarita Junia said the planned road which cost P1.5 billion, will get an initial budget of P50 million this year.   One of the key infrastructure projects in Eastern Visayas, the proposed road will connect the city’s commercial center in Lib-og village to nearby populated village of Mambajao. It will traverse the coastal areas of Abgao, Tunga-Tunga, and Combado barangays, Junia informed. It was learned that the preliminary release was strongly lobbied by Rep. Roger Mercado for inclusion in the 2017 appropriations, and will be used for the preparation of feasibility study for multi-year implementation, initial road construction, and some slope protection. “The main roads leading to the city center are already congested even if those roads are restricted to one lane,” Junia quoted, referring in particular to R. Kangleon and Tomas Oppus Streets. “We cannot expand to the other side of the city since it’s mountainous,” she added. Maasin, a fourth class city and capital of Southern Leyte province, has a land area of 211.70 square kilometers with a population of 85,560.   The city’s terrain is characterized by relatively flat lands along the coastal plains where population areas lay, and becomes rugged and mountainous towards the interior.   It was learned further that DPWH Southern Leyte proposed budget for the project in 2018 is P200 million. Releases in the next years will mainly depend on the outcome of feasibility study, which will be completed within the first half of the year. The project is in compliance to Secretary Mark Villar’s directive to decongest traffic through construction of by-pass roads in populated areas, DPWH chief reported. (ajc/rgc/PIA8-SoLeyte)