BAGUIO CITY – The ultimate solution to the brewing row between former Pangasinan 5th district Rep. Mark Cojuangco and Benguet Rep. Ronald M. Cosalan on the strategic location of the exit of the 88.4-kilometer Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) is the placement of a toll exit right at the mouth of Kennon Road and Marcos Highway in Saytan, Rosario, La Union, former Baguio City Rep. Bernardo M. Vergara said here.
Vergara, who was the former vice chairman of the House Committee on PUBLIC works during the 14th Congress, said the building of expressways warrants the installation of toll exits in cities traversed by the roadline to allow motorists to take options on what routes to take once along the expressway.
“The contractor must provide for a toll exit right at the mouth of Kennon Road and Marcos Highway in order to satisfy the concern of Rep. Cosalan that the original plan must be observed once the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) agrees to Rep. Cojuanco’s proposal to move the exit at least 7 kilometers away from the original exit in Saytan, Rosario, La Union,” Vergara stressed.
The former lawmaker explained with a guaranteed toll exit at the mouth of Kennon Road and Marcos Highway, motorists wanting to experience the three and a half hours travel time from Metro Manila up to Baguio City could use the toll exit.
Furthermore, Vergara said even vegetable farmers and traders who will be burdened by the transfer of the original exit seven kilometres away towards the town proper of Rosario, La Union can take the Kennon or Marcos toll exit in order to prevent inconveniences among them.
Cosalan and Cojuangco are in the middle of heated exchanges of statements supporting their respective positions on where the TPLEX will be located considering that the completion of the highway is now on its final stages.
For Cosalan, he pointed out it is still best for the DPWH to follow the original plan where the TPLEX exit will be right at the mouth of Kennon Road and Marcos Highway while Cojuangco wants the realignment of the exit to at least seven kilometres away from the original plan considering the supposed lesser damages to be inflicted on private properties among others.
Vergara emphasized Cojuangco’s proposal to realign the TPLEX exit seven kilometres away from the original exit is anchored on future plans to extend the highway up to San Fernando City, La Union and eventually up to Laoag City, Ilocos Norte considering that the road-right-of-way along the shoreline is much cheaper compared to passing the highway along the foot of the Cordillera mountain ranges.
He cited Rep. Cosalan must ensure the existence of a toll exit right at the mouth of Kennon Road and Marcos Highway once the DPWH plans to follow Cojuangco’s proposal so that his issues and concerns will be easily addressed and to avail of the ‘win-win solution’ to the brewing debates on whether or not there is a need to deviate from the original exit of the new highway.
He argued the putting up of toll exits in every city or municipality to be traversed by the highway will also help in decongesting expected traffic congestions that may occur in the entrance and exits of the highway and to ensure that motorists availing of shorter routes will be given a chance to pick their options. By Dexter A. See