By Genalyn Kabiling
The decongestion of EDSA may still be attained within President Duterte’s term despite the recent fire incident that hit a portion of the Skyway Stage 3 project, according to Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar.
In a recent Cabinet meeting at the Palace, Villar reported the completion of the skyway project has been pushed back to July but the EDSA decongestion program remained on track within Duterte’s term.
The update on the fire incident that affected the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 project and its subsequent repair work was presented during the Cabinet assembly convened by President Duterte in Malacañang Tuesday.
“Secretary Villar said that there is no such thing as a structure which is fireproof. Thus, the damaged portion needs to be reconstructed,” Presidential Spokesman Savaldor Panelo said in a statement Wednesday.
“Despite this, Secretary Villar assured the President that while this is considered as a delay, they will still make certain that EDSA will be decongested within the latter’s term,” he said.
A huge fire last Saturday gutted a warehouse in Pandacan, Manila, damaging a portion of the nearby toll road. The foundation of the elevated expressway was reportedly melted that caused its collapse.
The Metro Manila skyway, a 18.3 kilometer elevated road from Buendia, Makati City to the North Luzon Expressway in Balintawak, was originally scheduled to be completed by April. The project, proposed by San Miguel Corporation’s CITRA Central Expressway Corp., is among the flagship infrastructure projects of the administration to help ease the traffic along EDSA, the busiest road in Metro Manila.
Villar noted that that the elevated expressway would help attain the President’s promise of a five-minute travel between Cubao and Makati City.
“According to Secretary Villar, the affected project is part of this Administration’s decongestion program of EDSA because through this, travel time from NLEX to Makati will be at 15 minutes, while Makati to Quezon City at only 5 minutes. At this point, the Skyway project is already 80% complete,” Panelo said.
“As a result of the damage, the opening of the project shall, however, be pushed back by at least 3 months to July 2020,” he said.