Duterte flies to Manila to check on funds for Bangkerohan bridge

Duterte said he has not been apprised about the status of fund even if he said the Department of Public Works and Highways assured him the bridge shall have been completed by December 2007.

He denied speculations President Arroyo will make an issue out of the dismal fate of Team Unity senatorial bets here. Only three made it to the Magic 12 here.

Duterte said the city still has other options if Malacanang does not release funds. "But of course, the national fund is a priority as we also have our own concerns," he said. 

The bridge was closed last month after one of its foundations gave way, causing traffic congestion and delaying the full implementation of the new traffic signalization system.

Traffic is expected to be worse when classes resume in the next two weeks.

Duterte told reporters Monday that he was informed that the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is eyeing building a steel bridge, a cheaper structure, just like those funded by Arroyo's "Tulay ng Pangulo" (President's Bridge) program.

Duterte told MindaNews Tuesday the option will make it less expensive by a third of the proposed budget at P340 million, and will also faster to build.

But a steel bridge will not appear good beside the existing cement structure of Generoso Bridge 2.

But Duterte said he agreed to the suggestion made by DPWH-Regional Dimas Suguilon last week as long as it would be fast-tracked.

He also announced a plan to build a new bridge to connect the SIR area to Magallanes Street. But he did not give details.

Bangkerohan Bridge, a national infrastructure, is key to mobility in the city as it is one of two major ways connecting the city's downtown area to the south.

Bangkerohan Bridge was the first bridge to connect downtown with the southern part of the city.

Duterte however, said the city's absorption capacity for more motor vehicles is an even greater issue, more than its bridges.