Even without the SIDC bridge construction, traffic is seen to worsen in Davao City: Arup

An official of Ove Arup and Partners Hong Kong Ltd explained on Friday that the proposed Samal Island-Davao City (SIDC) Connector will not be the only reason that will worsen the traffic situation in Davao City in the future.

Corey Wong, associate director of Arup, attested that in the future the proposed bridge will not be the only thing that is bringing the traffic to the area as it is expected that Davao City and its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will grow, the traffic and the population will grow that will have a strong impact of the traffic situation in the future. 

The traffic surveys were done in April 19, 2020. 

“When we did our analysis we found that only 10 percent to 15 percent of the traffic on the future road is gonna be from the bridge itself. I’ve been in Davao City six or seven times So I know the traffic in some locations but the Davao City Bypass as well as the coastal road that’s gonna help alleviate some of that traffic that is going to Daang Maharlika,” Wong said.  

Wong’s statement was in response to the concern raised by one Wenifredo Gorrez, a resident of Barangay Hizon, who said during the virtual public hearing last Monday that the bridge will be a major concern among residents in his area, which is among the areas that will be affected by the project in the Davao side.

“Yung gi-present na traffic kasi yan ang isang major concern dito sa amin. I have live this place for almost 35 years and I can say that the traffic has been getting worse. Can you imagine I travel from our house to Agdao sometimes would travel that of more than one hour, or from my house going to SM Lanang in the same one hour. Ngayon sinasabi ninyo na okay ang traffic dito, I think the traffic situation would be a very big issue when the time comes no matter what you say,” Gorrez said.  

The landing points of the bridge are specifically located in Davao City and IGaCoS, the barangays that will be affected are Vicente Hizon Sr., A. Angliongto and R. Castillo. WHil Barangay Limao will be affected on the IGaCoS side.

Wong stressed that even without the bridge, the traffic will still become an issue in some places that is why Arup is recommending for localized widening of roads.

“The way we did our future calculations, we look at the number of people that are going at the ferry right now. A lot of people taking jeepneys or motorcycles to the ferry terminal,” he said.  

Diana Kristina Velasco, land use specialist of Galerio Environmental Consultancy, said that based on their traffic study findings, said the traffic survey activities were conducted while school was still ongoing. 

“Gusto nako i-emphasize is while several scenarios were considered ginapakita namo sa slide is the “no toll” scenario ngano man? Syempre kung walay bayad ang bridge mas daghan sakyanan ang muagi sa bridge. Just to show that even with this “no toll” scenario we’re the most number of vehicles are expected to use the project travelling between Davao and Samal, the project itself should be able to operate sufficiently up to 2055 even with the projection associated with a “no toll” scenario,” Velasco said. 

Velasco showed 21 locations for the 24 hour vehicle count as part of the traffic survey activities. There were also 18 road links that were assessed for road performance.

“Baka may effect bas a bridge or traffic. The study was not limited to road networks that are very near in the project but also considered others that might spur more vehicular traffic as a result of project implementation,” she said.