MMDA reopens Dario Bridge U-turn slot as more motorists return to roads

True to its word, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) reopened on Tuesday, June 22 the Dario Bridge U-turn slot in Quezon City in a bid to help ease traffic congestion on the northbound lanes of EDSA.

MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos (fourth from left) is seen overseeing an inspection at Dario Bridge on June 22, 2021. (Photo from MMDA)

MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos, who announced the U-turn slot reopening Monday, said the activity "would benefit the motorists because they can make a U-turn easily with a shorter route".

The move was also carried out amid the seeming increased presence of motorists as Metro Manila eased into a general community quarantine (GCQ) "with some restrictions" last week.

Abalos said he has already coordinated with the private contractor of the Common Station connecting the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT), a project of the Department of Transportation, which is located between SM North Edsa and Trinoma in Quezon City.

“I have requested BF Corporation to move back their fences at their work area to open more lanes for passing motorists and it with gravel so traffic obstruction could be avoided,” he said.

The MMDA chief said the U-turn slot was previously closed to give way to the EDSA Bus Carousel. However, traffic studies showed that opening it would improve the flow of vehicles in the area.

Meanwhile, Abalos said the agency is in constant coordination with concerned government agencies to improve mobility and keep traffic moving in the metropolis amid the increase in the number of vehicles on the road.

"The next big thing in the next two years is the widening of the Balintawak area, one of the traffic-prone areas, that would widen the area to five lanes. The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) shall work on the project for a period of one to two years,” said Abalos, in a press briefing held at the MMDA in Makati City on Monday.

There is also a proposal to widen the Camp Crame area in Quezon City, he said. Camp Crame is the headquarters of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

To pave the way for more alternate routes, the agency shall also intensify its road clearing operations on "Mabuhay lanes" together with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and local government units (LGUs).

“We shall intensify the clearing of Mabuhay lanes so they can be accessible, free from illegal obstructions,” the MMDA chairman said.

He believes that mass transportation coupled with the ongoing infrastructure projects will help reduce traffic in the metropolis.