The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) revealed that building more bridges are part of the plan to decongest Metro Manila’s thoroughfares in the coming years.
During a roundtable discussion with The STAR editors, DPWH Sec. Mark Villar said constructing five new bridges over Pasig river will help resolve traffic congestion specifically at Bagong Ilog and in Guadalupe.
“So, once we (have) nine (total) bridges across Pasig, we expect easing traffic in EDSA. The construction of the three bridges are ongoing. We are procuring five more,” Villar said.
Villar said the Sta. Monica-Lawton bridge is already 50 percent complete.
“Those bridges would decongest EDSA and also C-5 partially. We are doing the Estrella-Pantaleon bridge. That is almost 50 percent and the Sta. Monica-Lawton bridge is also 50 percent done,” Villar said.
Meanwhile, the secretary said that the bridge at The Fort in Taguig is also expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2021.
“It is now halfway through. It is now crossing; most likely in 2021. But hopefully we can do it soon. There is a possibility that we can do it sooner. But I don’t want to (further) comment. I don’t want to overcommit. I don’t want to overpromise,” Villar said.
“My very conservative estimate is first quarter of 2021, 2022; very conservative estimate. Not to say that hopefully we will look at what happens next year when we can speed it up. If the weather is good, if the circumstances are okay. No surprises. It might be finished sooner. I just want to say at this point (that) it’s still very far,” Villar said
Aside from constructing new bridges, Villar said that the agency also plans to build interchanges all over Metro Manila. “But we cannot do them yet altogether because they will cause a huge traffic problem. But first we’re going to start with the bridges. So, we are approaching 50 percent,” Villar said.
Villar added that other projects that will decongest EDSA are the Skyway extension and the harbor link extension.
“Those two will decongest EDSA because… the harbor link becomes feasible for trucks. Right now, they are cornered at C-3 and they will not use it. But once you do that, then that will alleviate (volume of) trucks going across EDSA. Once they would use the Skyway, that would remove 100,000 cars a day from EDSA,” Villar said. – Jose Rodel Clapano