By Emmie V. Abadilla
The $62-million Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 2 East Extension is now 60 percent complete as contractors yesterday laid the railway tracks and installed the electromechanical system (EMS) under Package 3, the project’s final phase.
The EMS is comprised of the signaling system, overhead catenary system, telecommunications system, and the power supply and distribution system. The whole project will be finished by next year.
The winning contractor for the project, the consortium of Marubeni Corporation and DM Consunji, Inc., are starting the track works and the integration of the EMS into the existing system, to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2020.
The four-kilometer extension to the existing 13.8-kilometer LRT 2 line is expected to transport an additional 80,000 passengers daily from the current average daily ridership of 240,000, with two new stations, namely, Emerald Station in Marikina, and Masinag Station at the Masinag Junction in Antipolo City.
Currently, the LRT-2 System, with 11 stations and having its terminal stations at Santolan in Pasig and Recto in Manila, traverses the East-West routes of Metro Manila.
Package 1 of the LRT Line 2 East Extension consists of the construction of a viaduct completed in March 2017. Package 2, the construction of two stations, was 78 percent done as of March 2019. Overall, the project is 60 percent finished.
“The first two phases of the project had a smooth implementation,” noted LRTA Administrator Reynaldo Berroya.
“Yesterday’s track laying and EMS installation signify the culmination of the project and the realization of the much-awaited answer to the clamor of the commuting public from the eastern areas of Metro Manila for a fast, affordable and convenient means of mass transit system,” he pointed out.
“The LRT 2 extension will provide a smoother commuting experience and, ultimately, a better quality of life for people in eastern Metro Manila,” Yoshio Wada, JICA Philippines Chief underscored.
Marubeni and DMCI, whose partnership spans more than three decades, have expressed their commitment to the timely completion of the project.
“Both companies aim to further contribute to the social and economic growth of the Philippines,” remarked Naoto Tago, President and CEO of Marubeni Philippines Corporation, and spokesperson for the consortium.
“We understand the importance of this project to the Filipino people and we will make sure that we deliver a working, high-quality track works, and a functioning E&M system by the last quarter of 2020,” he pledged.
Once the project is completed, travel time from Recto in Manila to Masinag in Antipolo, Rizal will be reduced from three hours to 40 minutes, according to Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur P. Tugade.