By Betheena Kae Unite
Construction of two China-aided bridges that will help decongest traffic in existing bridges crossing the Pasig River in Manila will start next week, Public Works and Highways Chief Mark Villar said during an ocular inspection in Intramuros, Wednesday.
Villar announced that the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge and Binondo-Intramuros Bridge will start its construction next week, following a groundbreaking ceremony which will be attended by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
The two China Grant-Aid bridges will be financed by the People’s Republic of China through a bilateral cooperation with the Republic of the Philippines.
According to the secretary, China granted the Philippines almost $70 million to finance the projects.
“Bahagi po ito ng Metro Manila Logistics Plan natin na kung saan maglalagay tayo ng additional bridges sa Pasig River upto 13 bridges ang madadagdag sa Pasig River kaya malaking bagay sa decogest ng traffic sa Metro Manila (This is part of the Metro Manila Logistics Plan where upto 13 more bridges will be constructed crossing the Pasig River to decongest traffic in Metro Manila),” Villar said.
“It is a four-lane bridge. Nakikita niyo ngayon yung mga bridges – ‘yang Delpan – na medyo congested, luluwag talaga at magkakaroon ng additional access points papunta sa Binondo, Intramuros in Manila (You can see the bridges (over Pasig River), like the Delpan Bridge, which is very congested, it will improve and there will be additional access points going to Binondo from Intramuros in Manila),” Villar added.
The bridges will be constructed within two years and will be accessible by 2020.
The Binondo-Intramuros Bridge will have a total road length of 734 meters, equipped with a four-lane carriageway and a three-meter sidewalk along both sides. It will cross the Pasig River and will provide a new link between Intramuros and Binondo.
The Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge, on the other hand, will connect Estrella Street in Makati City and Barangka Drive in Mandaluyong City. It has a total road length of 506.46 meters.
“These two bridges are a product of our partnership with the people of China. We are optimistic about this collaboration as they will be providing world-class bridges that will truly be beneficial for us Filipinos,” Villar said.
The two bridges are part of the Metro Manila Logistics Improvement Network, a traffic management plan composed of 13 new bridges crossing Pasig River, Marikina River, and Manggahan Floodway. The alignment caters to about 1.3 million vehicles daily and to provide alternative linkages between major thoroughfares, such as EDSA and C5.
The department’s Unified Project Management Office-Road Management Cluster 1 led by Undersecretary Emil Sadain and Director Virgilio Castillo will supervise the overall project implementation.
The deal between the Philippines and China for the implementation of the projects were signed in April 2018.