EDSA snarl to improve by up to 30% this year – Villar

Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar said traffic congestion may improve by 20 to 30 percent this year, and up to 40 percent by 2021.

In a report by The STAR, Villar said the traffic situation along EDSA should ease following the opening of vital infrastructure such as the Skyway Stage 3 project and the Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC)’s NLEX Harbor Link Segment 10 extension project.

“That’s a one-two punch for 2020,” he declared. San Miguel Corp.’s Skyway Stage 3 project is expected to open in April while the Harbor Link R-10 Section is eyed for completion by March.

The Skyway Stage 3 project covers Buendia in Makati, San Juan, Manila, Quezon City, all the way to the North Luzon Expressway.

The Harbor Link R-10 Section is a 2.6-kilometer extension from C-3 Road in Caloocan to R-10 in Navotas City.

“We are projecting the Skyway Stage 3 to relieve EDSA of over 100,000 cars. Harbor Link will decongest the highway of 30,000 vehicles, most of which are trucks. (A truck is) equivalent to almost five cars,” Villar remarked.

MPTC’s NLEX Connector would be opened by next year, according to Villar. It is seen to further decongest EDSA of around 50,000 vehicles.

The P23.3-billion NLEX Connector road project is an eight-kilometer, all-elevated highway that would extend the NLEX southward from the end of Segment 10 along C-3/5th Avenue in Caloocan to PUP Sta. Mesa, Manila and connect to the Skyway Stage 3, mostly traversing the Philippine National Railway’s track.

Villar said the reconstruction of the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge or Rockwell Bridge is expected to be completed by 2021. The bridge was closed to traffic on Jan. 19 last year.

“We also have the Santa Monica-Lawton or the Bonifacio Global City–Ortigas Link Bridge. So this is the plan to decongest EDSA,” he added, and underscored the need to remove about 200,000 vehicles along EDSA to achieve a smooth flow of traffic. To date, at least 400,000 cars ply EDSA daily.

With the government’s infrastructure projects in full swing, Villar said it is possible to speed up travel along EDSA to 40 kilometers per hour. – Richmond Mercurio

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