By Betheena Kae Unite
Decongesting the major thoroughfares in Metro Manila has been the key goal of the infrastructure department since 2016, so constructing several bypass roads and elevated expressways around the metropolis was seen as the long-term solution for the lingering problem.
Elevated expressways, like the NLEX Harbor Link, NLEX-SLEX Connector, Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3, and C-5 South Link Expressway, have been identified as vital projects to help solve traffic in the overly-congested Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) and Circumferential Road-5 (C-5).
However, aside from these big-ticket projects under the government’s infrastructure program Build, Build, Build, there are actually a number of small projects that are also key in decongesting the two highways in the metro.
According to Department of Public Works and Highways-National Capital Region Director Ador Canlas, they are currently constructing three road projects in the metropolis that are also identified as high-impact ones.
“We have a number of projects. Ang isang magandang project natin yung opening and concreting ng Mindanao Avenue Extension Segemet 2C, which is implemented in two phases,” Canlas told the Manila Bulletin.
It is a 1.8-kilometer section of Mindanao Avenue Extension from P. Dela Cruz Street to Gen. Luis Avenue in Caloocan City. Once completed, it will lessen the travel time from both ends to only 20 minutes.
“Meron din po tayo yung (We also have the) Marcos Highway to J.P. Rizal Bypass Road, this will lessen travel time from Marcos Highway to J.P. Rizal by 45 minutes,” Canlas furthered.
The regional director also highlighted that widening the Fort Bonifacio-Nichols Road in Taguig City will greatly help in decongesting traffic. This, he said, will lessen travel time from Fifth Avenue to Pasong Tamo by about 20 minutes.
He also cited the already completed Laguna Lake Highway which serves as a direct link of Taguig to the eastern part of the metropolis like the province of Rizal. The seven-kilometer highway reduces travel time from Bicutan to Taytay, Rizal to 20 minutes.
“Definitely, it will reduce the number of vehicles plying in EDSA and C5. I think before the year ends, meron na tayong mararamdaman na impact as far as travel time is concern,” the regional director said.
Recently, the President remarked that it would only take a five-minute travel time from Cubao in Quezon City to Makati via EDSA.
Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar supported the claim of the President that before the year ends, a five-minute travel time between the two cities will materialize.
Villar explained that once the elevated expressways built around the metropolis, which also serve as bypass roads from EDSA, are completed, it will greatly take away a large number of vehicles from the main highway. That will make a five-minute travel time from Cubao to Makati City possible.
He noted that the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3, once opened, will take away 100,000 cars from EDSA while another 100,000 cars will be taken away from EDSA by the NLEX Harborlink and the C-5 South Link Expressway.
A portion of the Skyway, Villar said, will be opened this year while a 2.2-kilometer segment of the C-5 South Link will open this month. Harbor Link, on the other hand, is already completed.