NO relief from traffic. Burdened with restrictions like number coding and bans on driver-only vehicles in certain places, Metro Manilans faced with busy routes that have been shuttered because of repairs on bridges such as Otis, now have to deal with even more challenges.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority on Thursday warned motorists and commuters of heavier-than-usual traffic in the areas surrounding three more vital bridges in Manila—Old Santa Mesa Bridge, Mabini Bridge and Nagtahan Bridge. The MMDA has already given the green light to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to proceed with work here.
MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia said the restoration of Old Santa Mesa Bridge and repair works of Mabini Bridge and Nagtahan flyover will start on September 15.
“The Old Santa Mesa Bridge that connects San Juan and Manila cities will be closed for seven months,” said Garcia, in a press briefing on Thursday.
The bridge’s reconstruction is to give way to the ongoing construction of Skyway Stage 3 Project, an elevated expressway that will connect the cities of Makati and Quezon, the official explained.
“The bridge along N. Domingo Street has to be demolished so that barges that will carry equipment for the Skyway 3 Project can pass the waterway,” said Garcia.
To guide affected motorists, the MMDA posted signages to inform them of the alternative routes they make take: F. Manalo Street or G. Araneta/Aurora Boulevard, Lubiran, Boni Avenue, F. Blumentritt Avenue. More than 8,000 vehicles use the bridge daily.
Meanwhile, repair works for the Mabini Bridge and Nagtahan flyover will last for four months. The bridge’s and flyover’s reblocking works involve asphalt overlay and electrical works per lane for 120 days. An average of 37,000 vehicles traverse the area daily.
Contractors are allowed to work only during nighttime, from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Garcia admitted that the projects would worsen traffic in Metro Manila, prodding them to intensify clearing operations on major thoroughfares and alternative routes (Mabuhay Lanes).
He advised motorists and commuters residing in Manila to allot longer travel time going to their destination with the impending restoration of the two bridges this “ber” month period when traffic is heavy.
To intensify their campaign against illegal parking, Garcia said they will declare designated alternate routes as “no parking zones.”
“No vehicle will be allowed to park on alternate roads during daytime,” said Garcia.
He warned that vehicle owners who defy the 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. “no parking rule” will receive citation tickets for illegal parking.
For his part, Bong Nebrija, MMDA’s Task Force Special Operations head, said they have started clearing illegally parked vehicles and other obstructions on designated alternative routes ahead of the scheduled bridge works.