By Dhel Nazario
Motorists will be experiencing heavier traffic than usual in Manila as two major bridges and one flyover will undergo rehabilitation in the next couple of months, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said.
Starting September 15, restoration of the Old Sta. Mesa Bridge as well as repair works of the Mabini Bridge and Nagtahan flyover will begin.
MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia confirmed Thursday that the agency has given the clearance to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to implement the rehabilitation projects.
“The Old Sta. Mesa Bridge that connects San Juan and Manila cities will be closed for seven months,” said Garcia, in a press briefing.
The reconstruction of the said bridge is to give way to to the ongoing construction of Skyway Stage 3 Project, an elevated expressway that will connect cities of Makati and Quezon, the MMDA 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,” Garcia explained.
The MMDA will be posting signages to guide the affected motorists on the alternative routes they may take which include: F. Manalo Street or G. Araneta/Aurora Boulevard, Libiran, Boni Avenue, F. Blumentritt Avenue. The agency said that more than 8,000 vehicles travel the bridge daily.
Meanwhile, repair works for the Mabini Bridge and Nagtahan flyover will last for four months since the construction will involve asphalt overlay and electrical works per lane for 120 days. An average of 37,000 vehicles is traversing the area daily and that contractors are allowed to work only during night-time, from 11 pm to 5 am.
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.
Designated alternate routes will be no parking zones, according to Garcia.
“No vehicle would be allowed to park on alternate roads during daytime,” said Garcia.
Those who would be defying the 6 am to 9 pm “no parking rule” will be issued citation tickets for illegal parking, Garcia added.
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.