The contractor of the Common Station in Metro Manila has suggested to temporarily close a portion of EDSA and the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) North Avenue Station to expedite the completion of the project.
Department of Transportation (DOTr) Undersecretary for Railways TJ Batan said on Thursday, Dec. 9, that the agency will review the proposal of BF Corporation of a month-long shutdown to meet the target soft opening of the central station in March 2022.
Batan said the Common Station is already halfway finished but the continued operation at the North Avenue Station is slowing down its construction as trains pass through to make a “U-Turn.”
“Itong mga tren, during operation ay pumapasok sa loob ng Common Station construction area, doon ito nagtuturn back. Dahil dito, nalilimitahan ang construction time ng Common Station (The trains turn back inside the Common Station’s construction area so it delay the construction time of the project),” Batan explained.
Currently, the full construction work only runs for only five hours or from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m., while work in the middle of the day is very limited due to safety concerns, Batan added.
Batan said the contractor has yet to submit a formal proposal to the DOTr but it also suggested closing a portion of the southbound lane along EDSA, particularly under the Common Station project.
Should the proposal be approved and implemented, Batan assured that they will rollout mitigating measures to lessen the burden of affected commuters and motorists.
The DOTr official also asked the public for consideration, noting that this “temporary inconvenience” will help ease traffic in the area for a long time once completed.
“Panandalian lang po ito. Higit sampung taon na po natin hinihintay itong Common Station na makapagpapagaan ng commute ng ating mga commuters. One last thread na lang po para mapabilis ang higit isang dekada na po nating paghihintay (This is only temporary. Just one last thread to finish the project that we have been waiting for more than a decade),” he added.
The Common Station or the Unified Grand Central Station project will feature a 13,700-square meter concourse area that will connect the LRT Line 1, MRT-3, MRT-7, and the Metro Manila Subway that will enable passengers to seamlessly transfer from one rail line to another.
It is comprised of three areas: Area A under the DOTr, Area B under Ayala Land Inc., and Area C under the MRT-7 Project facilitated by San Miguel Corporation (SMC).
Once operational, the Common Station is expected to serve around 478,000 passengers daily.