Cherryl Anne Cruz
It takes roughly around ten minutes driving between Mandaluyong and Makati, but with the nine-year old Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge set to close this January 19, expect your commute time to stretch to an hour–or even more.
The bridge rehabilitation, which will take around 30 months according to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), is expected to affect more than40,000 motorists daily.
According to the agency, commuters going to Makati and Mandaluyong can take the following alternative routes once rehabilitation starts:
- Take the Makati-Mandaluyong Bridge connecting Makati Avenue to Mandaluyong near JP Rizal
- Take the Guadalupe Bridge of EDSA to get to the Guadalupe Cloverleaf near Guadalupe MRT 3 station.
Meanwhile, the MMDA will continuously implement a strict campaign against illegal parking to clear the alternate routes.
No Backing Out
Meanwhile, the Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH) has rejected Senator Grace Poe’s appeal to reconsider the closure and rehabilitation of the Estrella-Pantaleon bridge due to the inconvenience it will give to commuters.
“I would like to express my objection for this particular project. Alam kong sinabi nila na wala na raw atrasan dito, (I know they said there’s no turning back) it will start, but the impact of that will be so great,” said Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public services.
“I still am not very convinced that we really need, at this time, to rehabilitate that bridge, without other detour routes for our passengers and drivers,” she added.
Meanwhile, Senator Loren Legarda, who defended the DPWH’s budget, thinks that there’s a need for the rehabilitation to take place. The new four-lane Estrella-Pantaleon bridge will not only ease traffic volume, but also increase public safety.
“The continuous increase of traffic volume creates more stress to the structure, this maybe aggravated by the occurrence of high intensity earthquake scenarios and public safety, as you will agree, cannot be compromised over the resulting traffic once it is closed,” she added.