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Starting at 6 a.m. today, the tunnel at the Plaza Independencia will be opened for traffic 24 hours everyday to help decongest the traffic problem within the vicinity and other nearby areas.

The decision to open the tunnel for traffic everyday was reached after City Traffic Operations Management chairman Sylvan “Jack” Jakosalem met with the representatives of the Department of Public Works and Highways and the contractor, Kajima Construction.

For security reason, however, vehicles transporting fuel and liquefied petroleum gas are banned in the tunnel. Aside from these, more than six-wheeler trucks, including garbage trucks, motorcycle and bicycles are also banned.

Jakosalem said traffic enforcers will be posted always at the entrance of the tunnel to screen the vehicles to pass through it. A 60-kilometer per hour speed limit will also be strictly imposed. Jakosalem also said a team of policemen will also patrol the tunnel to secure the motorists and properties from unscrupulous persons.

He is hoping that with the opening of the tunnel, traffic congestions at the vicinity of Plaza Independencia and adjoining areas will be addressed. Kajima Construction started building the P1.6 billion tunnel in 2006 in order not to destroy the historic value of the century-old public plaza.

Cargo trucks and other vehicles more than six-wheels can take the M.C. Briones Street near the City Hall in going to the South Coastal Road and a road near the plaza for those coming from the SRP.