Veco power lines maintenance leaves SRP tunnel in brownout

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Monday, January 6, 2014

FOR eight hours, the Cebu City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) yesterday closed to vehicular traffic the whole stretch of the Cebu South Coastal Road tunnel.

This, since the tunnel experienced a brownout after it was affected by the Visayan Electric Co.’s (Veco) maintenance of its power lines along M.J. Cuenco Ave.

Citom Executive Director Rafael Yap said the tunnel was closed to traffic around 9 a.m., the same time when the facility experienced brownout. It was only opened around 5 p.m.


Yap said they decided not to allow vehicles to pass through the tunnel for safety.

“We closed it because zero visibility gyud sa sulod,” he said.


Joy Tumulak, Citom operations officer, said one motorist who was traversing the tunnel when the brownout occurred incurred minor injuries after he was outbalanced.

“Natumba siya unya napangos (He fell and was injured),” he said.

Tumulak said, though, he was immediately rushed to one of the hospitals in the city and was given medical attention.

This is the first time the tunnel was closed since the facility was opened to the public in August 2010, Tumulak said.

Two Citom personnel were then deployed at the site—one at the side of the South Road Properties and one at the area near the Plaza Independencia—to ensure that no vehicles would go inside the tunnel.

A “no entry” sign was also installed by Citom in both openings of the tunnel.

Citom then rerouted the vehicles.

Tumulak said those going to the North Reclamation Area and Talisay City used M.J. Cuenco Ave. and the road near the Malacañang sa Sugbu.

Asked if there were traffic congestion, Yap said there is none considering that yesterday was a Sunday.


In an interview with Sun.Star Cebu yesterday, Yap believes the tunnel is supposed to have generator sets so that its operations will not be interrupted.

This, considering that the tunnel is supposed to be passable to vehicles 24 hours a day, seven days a week, he said.

Yap said this is something that the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) should consider and look into.

The operation and maintenance of the tunnel is being handled by the DPWH since the facility has not been turned over to the City.

At around 5 p.m. yesterday, Yap said the power inside the tunnel has already been restored by Veco.

Citom then immediately opened the tunnel for the use of the vehicles.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 06, 2014.

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