The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced a traffic-management plan to be implemented along Commonwealth Avenue and Elliptical Road in Quezon City as the private contractors of the Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT 7) expand their work area.

At a news briefing on Monday, Jojo Garcia, acting MMDA general manager, said the existing U-turn slot on Commonwealth Avenue-Philcoa would be closed to motorists starting March 29 in preparation for the tunnel-guide way for MRT 7.

Instead, affected motorists have to use Elliptical Road going back to Commonwealth Avenue-eastbound.

“We are glad private contractors are coordinating with us to make the necessary adjustments to ease the expected traffic buildup in the area caused by the ongoing MRT 7 construction,” Garcia said.

Moreover, private contractors will occupy two inner lanes of Commonwealth Avenue-Philcoa at both directions, as their work progresses.

To make up for the occupied lanes, the MMDA and the private contractors have agreed to widen the remaining lanes by removing obstructions on the outer portions of Commonwealth Avenue. The MMDA will also install plastic barriers on Maharlika Street that will serve as separators to prevent vehicles going to Commonwealth Avenue from swerving into other lanes, causing traffic buildup along Elliptical Road. Vehicles traversing Elliptical Road going to Visayas and North Avenue area should stay at the left lane, while vehicles going to Commonwealth Avenue should stay at the right lane.

According to MMDA Traffic Engineering Center, at least 2,115 vehicles are traversing Elliptical Road to Visayas and North Avenue during the morning rush hours, while vehicles from Elliptical Road going to Commonwealth Avenue numbers to 4,120 during the same period.

The MRT 7 project involves the construction of a 23-kilometer railway system with 14 stations from North Avenue, Quezon City, to San Jose del Monte, Bulacan. It is expected to serve thousands of passengers in Metro Manila and the nearby provinces of Bulacan and Rizal when completed.

By Claudeth Mocon-Ciriaco