With the impending and inevitable Stage 2 repair of the Magallanes Interchange on March 30 fast approaching, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) are scrambling to find alternate routes for some 300,000 vehicles that use the interchange on a daily basis.

The first option was to use the ramps of the Philippine National Railways (PNR), which are directly adjacent to the repair site but the request was turned down by PNR General Manager Joseph Allan Dilay.

The MMDA and the DPWH have now turned to a higher power in the form of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) by appealing to DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya for access to the ramps in order to relieve the expected congestion that will be caused by the full 12-day, 24-hour closure of the Magallanes Interchange.

“We will conduct the repairs 24/7 so that we can finish it immediately,” said DPWH National Capital Region Director Reynaldo Tagudando.

“With the upcoming repair of Magallanes Interchange for 24 consecutive days, there is an urgent need to look for an alternative route.  We cannot allow a monstrous gridlock to happen within the Magallanes Interchange,” said MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino.

Both agencies have also gotten in touch with the local governments of Makati and Pasay to also identify possible alternate routes for motorists who will be affected by the Magallanes Interchange repairs.

Due to its current poor condition, the Magallanes Interchange ramps will be thoroughly reblocked.  This maintenance job entails a lot of prep work including base preparation, excavation, cleaning of debris and preparation and curing of cement.

"All these we implore in the primordial interest of the general public," both Tolentino and Singson said in appealing to Secretary Abaya.