ADB approves $123M loan for EDSA covered walkways

    A better place. The EDSA Greenways will encourage more Filipinos to switch from private vehicles to public transport and thus ease traffic congestion on the major thoroughfare. (Photo by MANOLET SANTIAGO)

    The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $123- million or roughly P5.9 billion, for the EDSA Greenways Project, which will help the government construct five kilometers of covered walkways along Manila’s most congested thoroughfare.

    “The EDSA Greenways Project is an integral part of the government’s transport strategy to make Metro Manila a better place to live, work and visit,” Hiroaki Yamaguchi, ADB’s Southeast Asia transport and communications director, said in a statement.

    “This project is an important part of our contribution to helping make that vision a reality for Filipinos,” he added.

    The EDSA Greenways Project will be linked to mass transit stations along EDSA, namely the Balintawak, Cubao, Guadalupe and Taft stations.

    The five-meter-wide structures, equipped with elevators and monitoring systems, will be easily accessible for pedestrians, including the elderly, pregnant women, young children and people with disabilities.

    The project is part of the government’s Build, Build, Build infrastructure development program.

    “This project will encourage more Filipinos to switch from private vehicles to public transport, which is being strengthened with the North-South Commuter railway, the Metro Manila subway and the upgraded Light Rail/Metro Rail Transit systems,” Shuji Kimura, ADB senior transport specialist for Southeast Asia, said.

    “The project, to be built with cutting-edge technology for cantilever overhead walkways, will provide safe, inclusive, and equitable access for commuters while lowering CO2 emissions,” he added.

    ADB said the project will support Metro Manila’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

    It is expected to create much-needed jobs during the construction period, with P3 billion to be spent on local raw materials. The civil works contracts for the project are expected to be awarded during the first half of 2021.

    The multilateral agency said the project, including improving existing walkways and building new elevated walkways, is expected to cause minimal traffic disruptions.

    An international consulting firm has been hired to work on the project’s feasibility study with the Department of Transportation, with funding from ADB’s Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility.

    The project will also be supported by a $15 million loan from the Asean Catalytic Green Finance Facility, which will be administered by ADB.