Tuesday, January 25, 2022
Home3PL/4PLBarges eyed to transport cargo with 3-month Roxas Boulevard closure

Barges eyed to transport cargo with 3-month Roxas Boulevard closure

  • The government is looking to barge containers to Cavite Gateway Terminal (CGT) when a portion of Roxas Boulevard is temporarily closed
  • The southbound portion of Roxas Boulevard will be closed to vehicular traffic for the rehabilitation of a damaged drainage structure in Pasay City
  • The exact date of the closure has yet to be determined
  • Cargoes destined for areas south of Manila may be transported from Manila International Container Terminal using barges and can be withdrawn at CGT
  • The Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines is proposing that truckers be allowed to use one northbound lane of Roxas Boulevard while the southbound portion is closed

The government is looking at barging containers to Cavite Gateway Terminal (CGT) to ensure continued flow of trade once a portion of Roxas Boulevard is rehabilitated and closed to vehicular traffic for three months.

The possible solutions and alternative routes for trucks and trailers that will be affected by the road closure were discussed on December 27 among the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and port operator International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) during an inspection at Manila International Container Terminal (MICT).

The southbound portion of Roxas Boulevard will be closed to vehicular traffic to give way to the rehabilitation of a damaged old drainage structure in front of Libertad Pumping Station in Pasay City.

“Heavy vehicles and trucks traversing the major thoroughfare have contributed to the damage of the drainage culvert overtime. There is a danger that the drainage structure, constructed in the 1970s, would collapse, so rehabilitation must be done immediately,” MMDA chairman Benhur Abalos said in an earlier statement.

The DPWH South Manila District Engineering Office on December 3 started initial repairs in the area, but the office needs to close the entire southbound for two to three months to replace the damaged Libertad Drainage Main Box Culvert.

Abalos in a December 27 statement said they have yet to determine if a portion of the southbound direction of Roxas Boulevard fronting HK Sun Plaza will be totally or partially closed to vehicular traffic.

“The structural integrity is at stake. Hence, we are appealing for the public’s understanding of the inconvenience the road closure would cause. This is temporary. The construction is only for three months,” Abalos said.

The exact date of the closure has yet to be determined.

In a separate statement, PPA said one of the measures being looked into is the use of CGT, which allows the barging of containers between MICT and the Cavite terminal. Both terminals are operated by ICTSI.

CGT in Tanza, Cavite is a six-hectare common-use greenfield terminal that launched operations in 2018. It is the country’s first roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) barge terminal and can accommodate 115,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs).

READ: Cavite Gateway Terminal inaugurated

PPA said cargoes destined for areas south of Manila could be transported from MICT via sea using barges and could be withdrawn at CGT, thus, “drastically reducing the number of trucks needing rerouting when the rehabilitation of the Boulevard commences in the next couple of weeks.”

PPA said its general manager, Jay Daniel Santiago, “expects all stakeholders like manufacturers, shippers, truckers, logistics service providers to be fully on board with this initiative.”

PPA said about 2,000 cargo trucks ply Roxas Boulevard daily. MMDA, meanwhile, said approximately 1,000 cargo trucks traverse the southbound direction of Roxas Boulevard alone every day.

DPWH earlier said as an alternative, all light vehicles are advised to take Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard going to MIA Road, while heavy vehicles including trucks may turn left to P. Burgos Avenue, along Finance Road and Ayala Boulevard, then right turn to San Marcelino Street and P. Quirino Avenue going to South Superhighway.

Truckers’ proposal

Meanwhile, Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines president Maria Zapata in a phone interview with PortCalls said they are hoping government will allow trucks to use one lane of the northbound portion of  Roxas Boulevard, a suggestion made during a meeting with DPWH and MMDA.

Of the four lanes of the northbound portion of Roxas Boulevard, two can be temporarily used for those going south, with the inner lane designated for trucks, Zapata said. She noted that trucks, unlike private vehicles or other public utility vehicles, don’t need to turn left while using Roxas Boulevard; trucks, she said, just use one lane since they only have to go straight to their destination.

She said this proposal will prevent a possible congestion of trucks that will be use the alternate route going to South Superhighway.

Zapata also appealed to government to encourage local government units to temporarily suspend implementation of local truck bans, particularly those in alternate truck routes going south.

On suggestions to transport containers using barges instead of trucks, Zapata said this will take livelihood away from truckers, especially the small and medium-sized ones, at a difficult time due to the pandemic. – Roumina Pablo

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