REPAIR work on the Marcelo Fernan Bridge is wrapping up today.
Now sports organizers have to look at the state of roads to be used by over 1,700 athletes who will cycle or run races in Metro Cebu for the 2012 Ironman international triathlon on Aug. 5.
Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia promised during the June 27 launch of the Ironman 70.3 in Makati that Cebu is ready to host the major sports event and that the provincial government would give its full support.
During one coordination meeting in the Capitol, she asked for photos to be taken of the roads to be used in the races.
Some major roads in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu may be closed to motorists from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the event said Ian Fresnido, Cebu provincial coordinator.
Traffic advisories will be issued next week.
With less than a month left to prepare, organizers have to apply already for a road closure permit in Cebu City, said Rafael Yap, executive director of the Cebu City Traffic Operations Management (Citom).
The streets need to be cleared of obstructions, including stray animals that may wander along the route.
Yap said coordination with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) may also be needed to cover potholes along the route.
Fresnido assured that airport traffic wouldn’t be affected so much with this set up.
About 40 percent of more than 1,700 athletes who signed up for the Ironman triathlon are foreigners.
They include celebrities like Jericho Rosales, Mateo Guidicelli and Richard Gutierrez.
Athletes will start with a 1.9 kilometer swimming event in Lapu-Lapu City, followed by a 90 kilometer cycling event to Mandaue City, crossing the Marcelo Fernan Bridge, and passing through the coastal road of Cebu City to the South Road Properties and back to Lapu-Lapu City.
The triathlon will end with a 21-kilometer run in Lapu-Lapu City.
As of last Thursday, Citom said it has not yet received a formal request for road closures for a traffic plan.
Arriving and departing ship passengers in the Cebu City seaport may be affected from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m.
While the race is going on, passengers from different ports will be ferried to Pier 1 so that they can take their ride home from there.
In Mandaue, traffic chief Edwin Ermac said discussions were held about the triathlon, but the route has not yet been finalized.
In Lapu-Lapu City, organizers will have a final coordination meeting with barangay captains of Punta Engano, Mactan, Bua-aya, Ibo and Pusok which are aong the route. The Ironman Triathlon is sponsored by Cobra Energy Drink. /Marsante Alison, Doris C. Bongcac, Carmel Loise Matus, Fe Marie D. Dumaboc , Norman V. Mendoza