DECONGESTION of the Epifanio delos Santos Ave. (EDSA) has been among the top priorities of the Department of Public Works and Highways since the “Build, Build, Build” program was launched in 2016.
In order to realize the goal, various elevated expressways and bridges have been implemented in the National Capital Region to further extend the periphery of the most-used national highway in the country. Building these infrastructures would give motorists a handful of choices other than the overly-congested highway. Connecting the northern and southern part of the metropolis through elevated expressways and creating more bridges to ease key thoroughfares have been identified as the primary solution to this lingering EDSA problem.
ROADS AND EXPRESSWAYS
First on the list is the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 (MMSS-3), an 18.30-kilometer elevated expressway from Buendia, Makati City to the North Luzon Expressway in Balintawak, Quezon City, which aims to reduce travel time from two hours to only 15 to 20 minutes. It is now 90 percent complete.
To complement the MMSS-3, the NLEX-SLEX Connector Road is now being constructed and is now 11 percent complete. It is an eight-kilometer elevated toll expressway that would reduce travel time from both north and south ends of Metro Manila to only 20 minutes.
NLEX Harborlink Segment 10, a 5.58-kilometer elevated expressway linking McArthur Highway and C-3, gives motorists access to Manila from Balintawak without passing through EDSA. It was completed last year but its 2.60-kilometer NLEX Harbor Link C3-R10 Section finished construction last June.
A 4.75-kilometer portion of the Radial Road 10 in Manila has been widened to turn it into a high capacity highway that will offset the heavy volume of vehicles in major highways like EDSA and C5. Widening works were completed in 2017.
Mindanao Ave. Extension (Segment 2C), a 3.2-kilometer four-lane divided highway from the intersection of NLEX to Gen. Luis Ave., will connect Valenzuela City, north Caloocan City, Quezon City (Novaliches), and NLEX. It is now 74.35 percent complete.
The 8.35-kilometer NLEX Harbor Link Segment 8.2, meanwhile, aims to reduce travel time from Mindanao Ave. to Commonwealth Ave. from 45 minutes to 10 minutes, benefitting 45,000 motorists per day.
Southeast Metro Manila Expressway, C-6 (Phase 1), a 32.66-kilometer expressway from Skyway-FTI, Taguig City to Batasan Complex in Quezon City, will cut travel time from Bicutan to Batasan from one hour and 50 minutes to 26 minutes. Its Skyway-FTI-C-5 Diego Silang segment is now 12 percent complete.
Laguna Lake Highway, a 6.94-kilometer highway, is now substantially complete. It provides another road link between Rizal, Cavite, Taguig, and Taytay, Rizal. Travel time from Taytay to Bicutan will be reduced from one hour to 30 minutes.
Manila Cavite Toll Expressway Project-C-5 South Link Expressway, a 7.70-kilometer expressway, aims to reduce travel time between R-1 Expressway and SLEX or C5 from 40 minutes to only 10 minutes. Some portions of the road were opened last year.
Fort Bonifacio-Nichols Field Road (Lawton Ave.), a 3.3-kilometer road that aims to reduce travel time going in and out of Bonifacio Global City, is now 60 percent complete.
NAIA Expressway Phase 2, a 14.85-kilometer elevated expressway, reduces travel time from the endpoint of NAIA Expressway Phase 1 to Pagcor Entertainment City to only eight minutes. It was completed in 2017.
Another completed project is the road widening of Samar St. connecting Mother Ignacia Ave. and Timog Ave. in Quezon City.
The Alabang-Sucat Skyway Connection and Ramp Extension which is now 47 percent complete.
Several bridges had been lined up and some of them are already under construction, to further ease traffic in Metro Manila.
These are the Sta. Monica Lawton Bridge, which is across Pasig River connecting Lawton Ave. in Makati City and Sta. Monica St. in Pasig City; Lawton Ave.-Global City Viaduct, which traverses Lawton Ave. onwards to the entrance of Bonifacio Global City and now 61 percent complete; Binondo-Intramuros Bridge, which is now 42 percent complete, will connect Intramuros and Binondo in Manila; Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge, which is now 64 percent complete, will link Makati and Mandaluyong City; North and South Harbor Bridge, Palanca-Villegas Bridge, and Eastbank-Westbank Bridge 2, all under the Pasig River and Manggahan Floodway Bridges Construction Project, will start construction this year; J.P. Rizal-Lopez Jaena Bridge, J.P. Rizal-St. Mary Bridge, and Marikina-Vista Real Bridge, all traversing Marikina River, will start construction next year; and Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge, which involves the construction of 32.15-kilometer bridge from Mariveles, Bataan to Naic, Cavite, has been approved by the NEDA Board.
Also under the DPWH’s list of endeavors is the Metro Manila Priority Bridges Seismic Improvement Project which will replace the outer bridges and the substructure of the 114.4-meter foundation bridge of the Guadalupe Bridge in Makati and the vertical improvement of both sides of the 98.1-meter Lambingan Bridge. This project is slated to be finished in May 2023.