Back in early 2019, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) tore down the original Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge (AKA the Rockwell Bridge) to replace it with a new one with a higher vehicle capacity. After two and a half years, the new bridge connecting the cities of Makati and Mandaluyong is now open to the public.
To commemorate the momentous event, the DPWH held an opening ceremony of the new four-lane bridge. Among those present were President Rodrigo Duterte, DPWH Secretary Mark Villar, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade, Mandaluyong City Mayor Carmelita Abalos, and Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian.
The bridge measures a total of 506.46 meters and can now accommodate 50,000 vehicles daily (the original bridge could only accommodate 22,000 vehicles per day). It has a 50.5-meter approach road on Estrella Street, a 66-meter Makati approach bridge made of a pre-stressed continuous girder, a 146-meter main bridge, and a 243.9-meter approach road at Barangka Drive connected to Pantaleon Street in Mandaluyong. The new bridge also has wider sidewalks for pedestrians to use.
The bridge itself features V-shaped piers that are made of a pre-stressed concrete rigid frame with corrugated steel webs. Other details of the improved Estrella-Pantaleon bridge include the thermoplastic markings, protective barrier and railings on both sides of the bridge, as well as LED lighting.
Built at the cost of PHP 1.46 billion, the new Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge is one of two bridge projects funded by a grant from the People's Republic of China. The other project is the Binondo-Intramuros Bridge in Manila which is expected to be finished by the end of the year.
The bridge was originally scheduled to open at an earlier date. However, the pandemic, combined with the quarantine restrictions slowed down the construction of the project. To make up for it, the DPWH worked double time for the bridge project to be completed this July.
It may have taken the DPWH over two years for the project to be completed, but Villar believes that the new and improved Estrella-Pantaleon will help decongest EDSA by serving as an alternate route for motorists.