Philippine Daily Inquirer, 12 September 2013
By Jerry E. Esplanada
DPWH cites ‘monstrous traffic conditions’ at intersection
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has put on hold the construction of the P3.03-billion Edsa-Taft flyover, one of the agency’s two priority infrastructure projects in Metro Manila due to concerns that it would worsen traffic in the busy intersection.
Instead, the department would prioritize the P15.5-billion Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway project, Elizabeth Pilorin, chief of the DPWH public information division, said on Wednesday.
Quoting the agency’s Urban Road Projects Office, Pilorin warned of “monstrous traffic conditions in the southern part of Metro Manila if both projects were to proceed at the same time.”
“Despite the completion of the flyover’s detailed engineering designs [in April], the department has also postponed indefinitely the bidding for the project,” she added.
The DPWH earlier said in its midterm accomplishment report it would start work in August on the Edsa-Taft flyover project, which was expected to take one and a half years to complete.
On April 2, President Aquino gave the green light for the construction of the flyover at the perennially traffic-choked intersection of Edsa and Taft Avenue in Pasay City.
Malacañang, however, directed the DPWH to take the necessary measures to minimize any inconvenience to motorists.
The planned flyover, which is 1.2 kilometers long, will have two lanes in both directions on Edsa spanning Malibay Bridge from Makati City to F.B. Harrison Street in Pasay.
According to the DPWH, the project will help alleviate traffic congestion by providing uninterrupted traffic flow.
On the other hand, the groundbreaking and civil works for Phase 2-A of the Naia Expressway project is expected to start next January, said the department.
The project—expected to supplement the first phase which interfaces with the Manila South Luzon Expressway at Sales Interchange—is expected to be completed by March 2015.
The DPWH said construction of the project’s Phase 2-B, which will run from Domestic Road to Naia Terminal 3, is scheduled to begin in April 2014 and is expected to be finished in September 2015.
The 7.15-km Naia Expressway project will link Naia Terminals 1, 2 and 3 to Skyway on the South Luzon Expressway, the Manila-Cavite Expressway and the Entertainment City casino complex in Parañaque City.
Last April, San Miguel Corp. (SMC) won the bidding for the construction, operation and maintenance of the project, the first of the Aquino administration’s public-private partnership schemes.
On July 8, SMC made a payment of P11 billion for the project. The amount, which the DPWH promptly turned over to the National Treasury, represented the government’s share in revenues for the project’s 30-year operation.