Projects’ delay to worsen Metro traffic

THE construction of two key road projects—Skyway Stage 3 and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport elevated expressway—will be delayed and is  expected to worsen the traffic especially in the southern part of Metro Manila, an official said Monday.

Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino made the announcement following a meeting with officials of D.M. Consunji Inc., the contractor for the two projects.

The contractor is supposed to finish the NAIA expressway in November this year in time for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting.

“The NAIA expressway will be delayed for five months, but this project will be completed in April 2016,” Tolentino said.


The cause of the delay is the road right-of-way and drainage system problems and the massive flooding in the Sucat and Airport roads.

Tolentino made his statement even as  the Light Rail Manila Consortium, led by Metro Pacific Investments Corp. and Ayala Corp., expects an improvement in the Light Rail Transit Line 1 in 2017 once a total of 120 new trains are delivered to it.

“The real benefit of an improved train system will not be felt by the riding public immediately, but will come in due course particularly when the new trains are delivered by the government as part of its obligations under the Concession Agreement,” LRMC told the Philippine Stock Exchange.

The consortium said the trains were scheduled to arrive in 2017.

Meanwhile, based on the project status posted by the Department of Public Works and Highways, the right-of-way acquisition reached 94 percent accomplishment as of July 25, while the remaining 2 percent was under expropriation while 4 percent was under negotiation.

Skyway 3 is supposed to be finished by December 2017 but because of the delay, the project will be completed by April 2018. The power lines and water utility problems in the areas caused the delay.

“So, while these projects are under construction, there will be road congestion on Osmeña [Highway], Araneta and other areas affected,” Tolentino said.

“I asked the contractor to designate spokespersons who will explain to the people the cause of delay and other problems.”

The MMDA also put on hold the construction of the Light Rail Transit Line 2 Extension, another project awarded by the government to DMCI and which is supposed to start on Sept. 17.

Tolentino said DMCI officials had agreed to first install a temporary traffic signal along Marcos Highway before they started work on the project on Sept. 28.

He said both the NAIA expressway and Skyway 3 projects were included in the government’s list of long-term solutions to the worsening traffic problem in Metro Manila.

He said the government came up with these projects based on the recommendation of the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

The P26.7-billion Skyway Stage 3 project is a 14.8-kilometer, six-lane elevated expressway that will connect the end of the Skyway on Gil Puyat Avenue in Makati City to Balintawak in Quezon City.

Once completed, the project will link the South Luzon Expressway to the North Luzon Expressway and will have eight access points over Gil Puyat, Quirino, Nagtahan, Aurora Boulevard, E. Rodriguez, Quezon Avenue, Sgt. Rivera and Balintawak.

The P15-billion NAIA expressway project, on the other hand, will provide access to Airport Terminals 1, 2 and 3 as well as link the Skyway in the South Expressway and the Manila-Cavite Toll Expressway.

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