There’s no denying that traveling through Metro Manila has gotten worse over the past few years. In 2019, traffic navigation app Waze said that driving a kilometer in the metropolis took a dismal 4.9 minutes in September, which is significantly longer than April’s 3.8 minutes.
Waze’s country lead Sarah Rodriguez even said that Manila is set to beat Bogota (four minutes) and Jakarta (3.83 minutes) as worst city to drive in for the second consecutive year.
However, the woeful state of traffic congestion along EDSA may hopefully be improved as two major infrastructure projects are expected to open this year.
One of the key infrastructure projects is San Miguel Corp. (SMC)’s Skyway Stage 3, which is set to open this April. The project aims to relieve half of EDSA’s current vehicle load.
The SMC project stretches from Gil Puyat Avenue in Makati and traverses through San Juan, Manila and Quezon City all the way to the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX).
According to SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang, the opening of the Skyway Stage 3 aims to eliminate choke points and to give motorists a seamless connection from north to south and vice-versa.
With the opening of the Skyway Stage 3, traveling between Balintawak up to Buendia in Makati will only take 15 minutes, according to Ang.
Aside from the Skyway Stage 3, the Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC)’s NLEX Harbor Link Segment 10 extension project is being eyed to be completed by March.
The Harbor Link R-10 Section is a 2.6-kilometer extension from C-3 Road in Caloocan to R-10 in Navotas City.
According to Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, the Harbor Link is expected to decongest EDSA of 30,000 vehicles, most of which are trucks.
Additionally, Villar said that MPTC’s NLEX connector would be opened in 2020, which is seen to further decongest EDSA by 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. – With Richmond Mercurio