By Betheena Unite
The Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge, also known as Rockwell Bridge, will be totally closed to traffic starting Jan. 19 so that its over two-year reconstruction could start, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said.
The bridge that links the cities of Makati and Mandaluyong will be expanded from two lanes to four.
It is one of the two bridges in Metro Manila whose construction is being financed by China.
Undersecretary Emil Sadain said the bridge’s closure will allow project contractor China Road and Bridge Corporation to accelerate the dismantling of the existing bridge and build the new 506-meter span.
“We ask for public’s patience and understanding as we intend to go full blast on implementation so we can complete and open a new four-lane bridge crossing Pasig River within the 30-months construction period or by 2021,” Sadain said.
Work on the P1.47-billion project was originally set scheduled to start last September but the date was moved back so as not to tie up traffic during the holiday season.
The closure was rescheduled from Jan. 12 to Jan. 19 as alternate routes were finalized to ease the expected traffic build-up.
Sadain said the department had requested the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Makati and Mandaluyong governments for traffic management assistance.
Road traffic advisories were also installed around the project site.
Latest traffic count surveys by DPWH’s Bureau of Quality and Safety showed that the bridge has an average daily traffic of 25,826 vehicles per day. The new bridge is expected to reduce the volume by up to 3,360 vehicles per day and that at Guadalupe Bridge by up to 4,474 vehicles per day.
The bridge will have three-meter sidewalks, in contrast to the existing 0.6-meter sidewalks to ensure pedestrian’s safety.
Roads on both ends of the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge will also be widened to accommodate added more vehicles.
The department’s Metro Manila First District Engineering Office is conducting a survey in preparation for the widening of Pantaleon Street. The widening of Barangka Drive, on the other hand, is considered a priority of Mandaluyong government.