ILOILO CITY, June 28 (PIA6) - -Five-year old Void Axile Bustamante and six-year old Alecks Hailey Ramos were among the more than a hundred Ilonggo bikers who got a close encounter with President Benigno Aquino during his visit in Iloilo City, June 27.
Bustamante and Ramos, pupils of PLAY Integrated School together with the senior citizens, women, men, professionals, students from the Iloilo biking community rode in their bikes in the red-tiled bicycle lanes during the inaugural drive-through of President Benigno S. Aquino at the 2-km section of the proposed Senator Benigno S. Aquino (SBA), Jr. Avenue Road widening project at Brgy. San Rafael in the district of Mandurriao.
Bustamante and Ramos said they are happy to meet the President who got out from his vehicle and walked back to the group of bikers to greet them and have his picture taken with them.
Another biker who was at the front, Dr. Kristine Trenas, had the chance to introduce herself to the President as the widow of the late Francis Trenas whom the President acknowledged as his classmate. Francis is the brother of Congressman Jerry Trenas.
Trenas said the opportunity has shown to the rest of the country “that we don’t need cars and by biking we can curb pollution and get healthier”. She encouraged the provisions of more bike lanes.
The bike/walk lane is included in the proposed SBA Avenue road widening project that stretches 15.60 kilometers from the juncture of General Luna Street up to the Iloilo International Airport that aims to reduce traffic congestion and provide additional access to the Iloilo International Airport as well as the Iloilo Business Park and Iloilo Convention Center, both are under development and were also inspected by the President.
Aside from the provision of a bicycle lane, the project also involves the widening to eight lanes of the main carriageway, additional two-lane service road, sidewalks and drainage system. It also includes the widening and retrofitting of left side of the 144-lm Iloilo Bridge from two lanes to four lanes and construction of pedestrian overpass.
The development effort is part of the preparations for the hosting of the ministerial meetings of the APEC Summit in 2015.
Earlier, President Aquino also led the inauguration of the P157.734 million Jaro Bridge II in Brgy. Ungka, Jaro district, a component of the newly constructed 14.18 km. Iloilo Circumferential Road worth P1.9 billion.
The project also includes the construction of three other bridges such as the Iloilo Bridge II, Mandurriao Bridge I and Mandurriao Bridge II.
In a media interview, Senate President Franklin Drilon said the Iloilo Circumferential Road that connects the Iloilo Airport and Dumangas port will help spur tourism and economic activities in Iloilo. (JCM/LAF/PIA6)