Let's face it, traffic along EDSA has always been the bane of commuters, motorists and public transport vehicles. Whether during morning or evening rush hour, what should have been a quick trip or commute, usually becomes an agonizing test of patience.
However, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is looking to free up congestion on one of the busiest roads in Metro Manila. How do they plan to do it? By finishing three infrastructure projects that will decongest the busy thoroughfare.
One of the major projects that the DPWH believes will relieve EDSA of traffic is the Bonifacio Global City – Ortigas Center Link Road Project. Aimed at reducing travel time between BGC and Ortigas Central Business District to just 11 minutes, the upcoming road will decongest traffic from C-5 Road and EDSA and will improve accessibility within the central business districts of Metro Manila. The project consists of the construction of the 440-meter Santa Monica-Lawton Bridge, the 362-meter widening of Brixton to Fairlane Street, and the building of the 565-meter four-lane Lawton Avenue-Global City viaduct onwards to BGC.
The other project the DPWH is working on is the 560-meter Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge. Also known as the 'Rockwell Bridge', the original steel bridge is being replaced with a more permanent steel and concrete bridge that has a higher capacity to serve more motorists and pedestrians. It also serves an important alternate route for motorists living in both Makati and Mandaluyong. Once completed, the new bridge will have double the capacity (original only capable of handling 22,000 vehicles), have four lanes, and feature 3-meter pedestrian sidewalks.
Finally, there's the 710-meter Intramuros-Binondo Bridge which connects Intramuros at Solana Street and Riverside Drive, Binondo at San Fernando Bridge with a viaduct over Estero de Binondo. Like the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge, the Intramuros-Binondo Bridge is being upgraded to serve more vehicles while also adhering to the changes requested by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).
Aside from these projects, DPWH Secretary Mark Villar also previously mentioned that EDSA traffic will improve 20-30% by mid-2020 once Skyway Stage 3 is fully opened to the public. He mentioned that while that figure may be small, the improvement that will be felt by motorists and commuters will be very big. Originally planned to be opened to motorists this April 1, 2020, the deadline has been moved to July 2020 instead after a 300-meter section of the elevated expressway collapsed due to a huge fire that consumed a nearby factory.
With the DPWH looking to have all of these projects completed by the end of 2020, let's hope that they will be able to achieve the goal of decongesting EDSA.