By Betheena Unite
Construction of the extension of the Light Rail Transit-1 (LRT-1) from Baclaran to Cavite started Tuesday, two years after its groundbreaking.
A total of 11.7 kilometers will be added to the existing railway system that will connect Metro Manila and Baclaran through a railway network.
According to Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, who led the official start of construction through a gathering in Paranaque City, the LRT extension will feature eight new train stations, five of which will be partially operational by the fourth quarter of 2021.
The usual travel time of one hour and 10 minutes from Baclaran to Cavite will be reduced to just 25 minutes once the railway network is completed.
Tugade explained it took two years for the actual work to begin because of right of way problems.
He said when the current administration assumed office “there was no right of way in 2016, in 2017. It is zero certification.”
“But after two years that zero certification is now more than 92 percent (completed). In other words, in terms of right of way, this project is a go,” Tugade said.
Transportation Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan said it has been 18 years since the project to extend LRT-1 to Cavite was approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
“Now after almost two decades and three administrations, all that we need are here to finally start and finish the LRT-1 extension,” Batan said.
In the span of two years, Tugade reported that informal settler families affected by the project have been relocated while additional light rail vehicles have started arriving into the country.
A deal to extend Baclaran Depot and build an additional depot for the vehicles have also been closed.