With the start of the 'ber' months, it is expected that traffic will get even worse in Metro Manila. And no, not just because of the coming Christmas season, but also because of bridges being closed due to repairs and even demolishment. A total of three bridges and one flyover within the metropolis will be closed beginning September 15 to make way for restoration and repair works; one of the three bridges will be demolished.
MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia said that the agency has already given clearance for the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to start the restoration and repairs of Old Sta. Mesa Bridge, Mabini Bridge and Nagtahan Flyover. At the same time, the bridge along N. Domingo Street will also be demolished to make way for barges carrying equiptment for the Skyway Stage 3 Project.
The Old Sta. Mesa Bridge will be closed for seven months and will also give way to the construction of Skyway Stage 3. The Old Sta. Mesa Bridge is located beside SM Sta. Mesa and connects the cities of San Juan and Manila. Meanwhile, repair works on Mabini Bridge and Nagtahan Flyover will last for four months and involves asphalt overlay, lane re-blockin and electrical works for the lanes. That said, contractors working on Mabini Bridge and Nagtahan will only be allowed to work between the hours of 11:00 PM - 5:00 AM.
To guide motorists, the MMDA will be posting signs to inform them of alternate routes they must take. The agency also adviced commuters and motorists to allot longer travel times going to their destination/s due to the forthcoming road closures and worsening traffic.
With that in mind, the MMDA will intensify clearing operations in both major roadways and alternate routes (Mabuhay Lanes). Moreover, the MMDA will declare designated Mabuhay Lanes as 'no parking zones'. Vehicle owners that will park on alternate routes from 6:00 AM – 9:00 PM will receive a parking ticket.
Bong Nebrija, the MMDA's Task Force Special Operations Head, said they have already begun clearing operations on the previously mentioned alternate routes. To date, they have already cleared illegally parked vehicles, as well as other road obstructions to free up road space for motorists.