9 new bridges across Pasig River



Anna Mae Yu Lamentillo

The land area of Tokyo is thrice the size of Metro Manila but the vehicle density in Manila is higher. There are about 9.3 million vehicles competing in PH’s limited road network. In 2016, majority of the 32,770 km of national roads are at saturation levels — with EDSA exceeding its road capacity of 288,000 vehicles a day.

Metro Manila alone accounts for about 13.4 million trips per day. Studies showed that this can increase to as high as 16.1 million in 17 years.

Due to the traffic congestion brought about by the lack of infrastructure, JICA estimated losses in Metro Manila to about P2.4 billion pesos a day or about 0.8 percent of our GDP.

The instruction of President Rodrigo Duterte from the onset has been very clear — put an end to EDSA traffic.

The first area to be surveyed by drone was the Pasig River alignment. This was the start of what Secretary Mark Villar would later call the Metro Manila Logistics Improvement Network.

In addition to the 26 existing bridges crossing Pasig River, Marikina River, and Manggahan Floodway, which cater to about 1.30 million vehicles daily, 9 new bridges in the area will be constructed to provide alternative linkages between major thoroughfares and increase the number of usable roadways that would decongest traffic in EDSA and other major roads in Metro Manila.

Three bridges under the masterplan will be completed within the year: the BGC Ortigas Link Road Project, the Binondo Intramuros Bridge and the Pantaleon Estrella Bridge Project.

The Bonifacio Global City – Ortigas Center Link Road Project involves the construction of a 440- meter Sta Monica to Lawton Bridge and a 565-meter viaduct structure which will connect Lawton Avenue in Makati to BGC.

BGC Ortigas Center Link Bridge. (Dmitri Valencia)

When completed by third quarter of this year, traveling between the central business districts of Taguig and Pasig will only take 12 minutes, and traffic congestion at EDSA and C-5 Road particularly along Guadalupe Bridge and Bagong Ilog Bridge will be alleviated by about 25 percent.

Pantaleon Estrella Bridge. (Dmitri Valencia)

On the other hand, the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge is a 4-lane 506 meter prestressed concrete rigid frame bridge with corrugated steel webs, to connect Estrella Street in Makati to Barangka Drive in Mandaluyong. The project is expected to alleviate EDSA and C5 by about 30,000 vehicles per day.

Moreover, the 680-meter Binondo-Intramuros Bridge is a basket-handle tied steel arch bridge which connects Intramuros at Solana Street and Riverside Drive and Binondo at San Fernando Street with a viaduct structure over Estero de Binondo.

Filipinos could also opt to walk as the bridge is equipped with pedestrian walkways.

Also included in the Metro Manila Logistics Network are six bridges crossing Pasig River, Marikina River and Manggahan Floodway: the North and South Harbor Bridge, the East Bank-West Bank Bridge 2, the Palanca - Villegas Bridge, the Marikina Vista Real Bridge, the JP Rizal - St. Mary Bridge, and the JP Rizal - Lopez Jaena Bridge.

Ultimately, by 2022, the goal is to ensure that every city in Metro Manila is connected within a 20 to 30-minute time frame.