THE UNIVERSITY is blocking the government’s plan to build a flyover on Lacson Street, saying it poses risks to UST Hospital patients and would disrupt classes.

Before stepping down as rector at the end of the academic year, Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P. went public on his opposition to the plan, arguing that noise from passing vehicles will disrupt operations of colleges at the Albertus Magnus and Roque Ruaño buildings and affect the flow of vehicles, especially ambulances going to and from the hospital.

“Once they start the construction, there will be heavy traffic. What will happen to our patients? This (Lacson Street) is where the ambulances enter and exit,” he said in an interview with the Philippine Star on March 29.

UST Hospital will have to make adjustments once construction pushes through, Architecture Dean Joseph Fernandez said.

“For instance, the Clinical Division will have to adjust its ramp on the Lacson sidewalk, which will be eaten up by road widening, Fernandez said.

The flyover’s total length will be 1,440 meters.

In the blueprint, the proposed flyover will reach as high as the five-story Roque Ruaño building. This is because the proposed Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 9 on España will pass under the flyover.

“On the third floor, you’ll be able to see the cars passing by. So you can just imagine the sound coming into the classrooms,” Fernandez said.

Mariano Alquiza, Department of Public Works and Highways Urban Roads Project Office (DPWH-URPO) director, admitted that UST Hospital would definitely be affected by the construction.

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“We assure them that they will have their right of way,” he told the Varsitarian, adding that the DPWH will first widen Lacson Street before starting the construction of the flyover to avoid closing of the road.

UST, especially the Faculty of Engineering, colleges of Education and Tourism and Hospitality Management, and the Conservatory of Music, will have to deal with the noise.

As remedy, Alquiza said sound barriers will be installed to reduce the noise coming from the construction.

But De la Rosa argued that since UST has been declared a National Cultural Treasure and a heritage site, its surroundings should also be maintained and protected from urban decay.

Acting Rector Fr. Pablo Tiong, O.P declined to comment, saying “the next rector would know better.”

In 2004, DPWH conducted a study on the intersection of España Boulevard and Lacson Street, and found the need to upgrade the roads as the level of service in the area has plunged to the “F level”—the worst condition in engineering language.

In 2005, DPWH-URPO met with UST representatives Danilo Ferrer, a former technical consultant, and Ruben Bongat, former general services chief, to discuss how the flyover could ease traffic at the intersection of Lacson and España.

The proposed flyover will start right after the Dapitan Street intersection and end near Jhocson Street.

According to project manager Rito Badillo, the flyover will eliminate the “conflict of vehicles.”

“Instead of waiting for the green light, there will be no more waiting, because there is [a] bridge separation,” said Badillo.

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Although the University is within its rights to oppose with the plan, Alquiza said the project is set to go as the notice to proceed has already been issued to the contractor.

“We’re just waiting for the tree cutting permit from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR),” Alquiza said. Lorenzo Luigi T. Gayya and R. S. J. T. Lozada

3 COMMENTS

  1. They should stop being tightwads and think more about the safety of their students rather than their stand against ‘urban decay’. A simple flyover can come a long way for the sake of traffic safety.

  2. No matter how many flyovers you built as long as the volume of transportation continues to grow, traffic is still expected.

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