By Ferdinand Patinio

MORE INFRA PROJECTS. Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Manuel Bonoan (right) at the Bagong Pilipinas Town Hall Meeting on Traffic Concerns at FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City on Wednesday (April 10, 2024). DPWH) bared several big-ticket projects being constructed by the government in a bid to decongest traffic in Metro Manila. (PNA photo by Joan Bondoc) 

MANILA – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) on Wednesday bared several big-ticket projects being constructed by the government in a bid to decongest traffic in Metro Manila.

Speaking at the Bagong Pilipinas Town Hall Meeting on Traffic Concerns convened by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. in San Juan City, DPWH Secretary Manuel Bonoan discussed some of the infrastructure projects to alleviate bottlenecks and provide alternative routes to ease traffic congestion in the National Capital Region.

He said the traffic decongestion program is one of the key strategic infrastructure programs of the department aligned with the 2023-2028 Philippine Development Plan and consistent with the President’s 8-point socioeconomic agenda to reduce transport and logistics costs.

The program focuses on the improvement and expansion of the national road network by building more by-passes, diversion roads, expressways, flyovers, interchanges, and underpasses.

Among them is the completion of the mainline of the 18-kilometer Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 which has reduced travel time from Buendia to Balintawak from 2 hours to 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, the construction of the Tomas Claudio – Polytechnic University of the Philippines Sta. Mesa Section is ongoing with 22 out of a target of 28 ramps already completed.

Three ramps are undergoing construction while another three are under the planning stage, Bonoan added.

Another project that will decongest and bypass EDSA is the 7.7-kilometer North Luzon ExpressWay-South Luzon Expressway (NLEX-SLEX) Connector Road, an elevated expressway mostly traversing along the Philippine National Railways (PNR) rail track from Caloocan to Plaza Dilao in Manila which will reduce travel time from SLEX to NLEX from 2 hours to 20 minutes.

He reported that the project is already 95 percent substantially completed and has three interchanges located in C3 Road/5th Avenue in Caloocan, and España and Magsaysay Boulevard in Manila.

The NLEX-SLEX Connector Road Project, targeted to be completed this year, will bring great comfort to motorists once fully operational to its connection with Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 in Sta. Mesa, Manila.

The 32-kilometer Southeast Metro Manila Expressway (C6 Expressway, Phase I) will reduce travel time from Bicutan to Batasan from 2 hours to 30 minutes, with right-of-way acquisition ongoing.

The C5 South Link Expressway will reduce travel time from R-1 Expressway to SLEX/C5 from 40 minutes to 10 minutes. The Merville to C5/SLEX and E. Rodriguez to Merville Sections are already operational.

Bonoan added that the Laguna Lakeshore Road Network Project – Phase I, involving the construction of a 51-km. road network along Laguna Lakeshore from Calamba to Bicutan will cater to the increasing traffic volume in the southern corridor of Metro Manila.

The detailed engineering design for the Laguna Lakeshore Road Network Project – Phase I is 97 percent complete. The processing of the loan for the construction of the project is underway with the Asian Development Bank.

The 44-kilometer Cavite-Laguna Expressway is expected to reduce travel time from Cavite Expressway (CAVITEX) in Kawit to SLEX Mamplasan in Laguna from 2 hours to 35 minutes.

The 17.4 km.-road from SLEX Mamplasan to Silang-Aguinaldo Interchange is already operational, while the remaining sections will be completed next year.


Bonoan added that they are also prioritizing the construction of new bridges crossing Pasig River and Manggahan Floodway that will provide alternative linkages between major thoroughfares and increase the number of usable roadways that would decongest traffic major roads in Metro Manila.

So far, three of the six bridges have been completed, namely the Binondo-Intramuros Bridge; Bonifacio Global City-Ortigas Center Link Road Project; and Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge.

The design and build contracts for the other three bridges are ongoing, with civil works set to start this year.

Civil works for the North & South Harbor Bridge and Palanca-Villegas Bridge crossing Pasig River are targeted to start by the end of this year or early part of 2025 while construction of Eastbank-Westbank Bridge 2 crossing Manggahan Floodway is set to commence in September 2024, he added.

Also, the rehabilitation and replacement of the Guadalupe and Lambingan bridges, under the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-funded Metro Manila Priority Bridges Seismic Improvement Project, is set to begin this year.

This will ensure the safety of about 365,000 motorists who traverse the Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) through the Guadalupe Bridge, and about 30,257 motorists that pass by Lambingan Bridge daily.

At the same time, Bonoan said one of the landmark projects included in the Inter-Island Linkage Bridge Program is the 32-kilometer Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge across Manila Bay, which is set to be the country’s longest bridge once constructed.

It is the biggest and the single most expensive project of DPWH which aims to reduce the travel time between Bataan and Cavite from 5 hours to 45 minutes bypassing Metro Manila.

The detailed engineering design of the PHP219 billion mega bridge project in Luzon has an accomplishment of 97 percent, with final approval of design plans currently ongoing.

Decongesting EDSA

Bonoan added that the transport road and bridge rehabilitation project along EDSA aims to mitigate the large economic losses due to traffic congestion in Metro Manila.

The project is currently proposed for inclusion in the JICA technical cooperation project for large-scale road and bridge replacement and rehabilitation including the total rehabilitation of EDSA.

The agency will also continue assisting the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority in road clearing and removal of obstructions as well as promote active transport by building more bike lanes and pedestrian infrastructure in coordination with the Department of Transportation.

Bonoan noted the collaborative efforts between government agencies, private sector stakeholders, and the community to implement the decongestion plan successfully. (PNA)