Traffic on EDSA is expected to improve by 40 percent in two years with the completion of major expressway projects in Metro Manila, according to the Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH).
Mark Villar, DPWH secretary, said in order to bring back EDSA to its original capacity and speed, 200,000 cars will have to be diverted to other roads.
For this year, San Miguel Corp.’s Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 and the NLEX Harbor Link project are expected to be completed and will take away 100,000 and 30,000 cars on EDSA, respectively.
To be completed by 2021 are the NLEX-SLEX Connector Road and the two bridges Binondo-Intramuros and Estrella-Pantaleon. These projects will remove 50,000 and 60,000 cars on EDSA. respectively.
“If I have to estimate, (we will see a ) 20 to 30 percent improvement (this year). By 2021, it will reach maybe 40 percent improvement,” Villar said.
The DPWH said vehicles passing through EDSA may experience an improvement in the speed from current 10 to 15 kilometers per hour (kph) to the ideal speed of 40 kph by the end of 2021 once these projects are completed.
“More or less, if you estimate based on the number of vehicle traffic we are expecting from these projects, (these) should bring back EDSA to its original capacity,” Villar said.
The Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 is expected to be completed within the first half of this year.
The 18.68-kilometer elevated expressway from Buendia, Makati City to the North Luzon Expressway in Balintawak, Quezon City will cut travel time to 15 to 20 minutes from two hours.
NLEX Harbor Link Segment 10 is composed of the 5.65-km elevated expressway traversing the NLEX from MacArthur Highway Karuhatan, Valenzuela City, passing through Malabon City and C3 Road, Caloocan City, and the 2.6-km section between C3 Road, Caloocan City and R10, Navotas City.
The R10 portion is expected to start partial operation this month and full completion by March.
NLEX-SLEX Connector Road is an 8-km. elevated expressway extending the NLEX southward from the end of Segment 10 in C-3 Road, Caloocan to PUP Sta. Mesa and connecting it to the Skyway Stage 3. Upon completion, this will cut travel time between Clark and Calamba will be reduced from three hours to 1 hour and 40 minutes.
The P23-billion project started construction in November and will be completed in end of 2021.
The two bridges which are part of Metro Manila Logistics Improvement Program and are funded by a grant from China broke ground July 2018. The first one is the 710 lineal meter Binondo-Intramuros Bridge connecting Intramuros at Solana street and Riverside drive and Binondo at San Fernando bridge with a viaduct structure over Estero de Binondo.
The existing Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge will be replaced by a three-span V-shape rigid frame with corrugated steel webs with four-lane deck concrete deck slab of approximately 506.46 lineal meters to connect Estrella street Makati side to Barangka drive Mandaluyong side.