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Ayala Bridge repair faces more delays

A week-long  closure of Ayala Bridge in Manila  has begun  after a foreign consultant suggested further improvement of the pavement to ensure the integrity of the bridge.

The move, according to Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Francis Tolentino, would  further delay  the project. He said Public Works officials told him that the contractor vowed to  finish the rehabilitation work by   Dec. 23.

“They didn’t consult us for the closure and we want the French consultant for the project to explain on this matter,” said Tolentino. “If they are saying the repair will be finished by December, we are afraid that this would affect the APEC [Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation] meeting this November.”

The MMDA chief said the repair of the bridge was supposed to be completed by July.

Alexandre Gros of Freyssinet International Manila Inc., the French consultant for the project, in behalf of the foreign firm, apologized for not consulting both the MMDA and the Department of Public Works and Highways for the sudden full close of the bridge.

“We apologize for it and we promise we will open [partially] the bridge after one week,” said Gros during a press briefing at the construction site.

DPWH-National Capital Region project engineer Ricardo de Vera said Freyssinet, through its licensee Frey-Fil Corp., is responsible for the rehabilitation design of the bridge.

He added that one lane of  the bridge will be opened to light vehicles by   Oct. 1.

Early this year, the MMDA approved the request of the DPWH to complete the repair works of the bridge in time for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

Areas to be affected by the bridge closure until October include major thoroughfares such as Quezon Boulevard, United Nations Avenue, Taft Avenue, Legarda Street, Quirino Avenue, Recto Avenue, Magsaysay Boulevard and Roxas Boulevard.

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