San Miguel Corp. (SMC) on Friday, Sept.23, broke ground for its P95 billion Pasig River Expressway (PAREX), a 19.37-kilometer, green, hybrid expressway.
The six-lane elevated expressway will run along the banks of the river, from Radial Road 10 in Manila to C-6 Road or the South East Metro Manila Expressway (SEMME) in Taguig.
Once operational, PAREX will link the eastern and western cities of Metro Manila and will connect to the Skyway system.
The integrated elevated road network will link the north, south, east, and west corridors of the capital.
SMC President Ramon S. Ang, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, and Public Works and Highways Undersecretary Maria Catalina Cabral, led the PAREX groundbreaking rites held along the Pasig River in Pandacan, Manila.
“I’m very proud that we have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to provide an inclusive, future-ready solution to traffic, and at the same, restore the Pasig River back to its old glory,” Ang said.
The PAREX will not only benefit the public, but also the environment, Tugade said.
“We are happy because we have a project like this connecting north to south and east to west. Never has this connectivity been thought of, and now it is being implemented ” he added.
“PAREX will be a gateway for the future of urban transport and will address the needs of urban living in today’s environment,” Medialdea said.
Once completed, the PAREX will feature a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system that will benefit commuters all over Metro Manila.
The expressway will also have dedicated bike lanes to encourage environment -friendly modes of personal transportation, as well as pedestrian walkways.
Separate from the project itself, SMC is also undertaking a P2 billion initiative to clean up and rehabilitate the Pasig River.
Its goal is to extract some three million metric tons of silt and solid waste from the river, to improve the flow and carrying capacity of the river, in order to mitigate flooding.
After the rehab, the river can be safely used again as an alternative mode of transportation, using ferries.