ICYMI: Proposed MRT-4 project, SMC on PAREX backlash

It was an eventful week
by TopGear.com.ph | Oct 3, 2021
PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons, San Miguel Corporation, DPWH, Shutterstock

DOTr to start MRT-4 project connecting Rizal to Quezon City

“If you’re from the eastern part of Metro Manila, a new rail line in your area is currently in the works.

“Tomorrow, October 1, 2021, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) will be signing a contract with consulting firm IDOM to design the new MRT-4 project. The latter will handle the preliminary design, detailed engineering and tender designs, financial and economical assessments, and bidding documents, among many others.

“The 15.56km railway, which was approved by the National Economic and Development Authority back in December 2019, seeks to connect cities east of the capital to certain areas in Rizal. There are 11 proposed stations from Taytay all the way to N. Domingo near the LRT-2 Gilmore Station. You can see all the stations as well as the marked map below:

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“The DOTr says work on the MRT-4 project will begin by the second quarter of 2022. The provincial government of Rizal, meanwhile, says partial operability is expected by 2025.”

SMC releases statement addressing PAREX backlash

“The San Miguel Corporation (SMC) has decided it’s time to address the recent backlash surrounding the Pasig River Expressway (PAREX) project.

“In an official statement, the company said it believes the negative reaction it’s received since last week’s PAREX groundbreaking ceremony is ‘part of an orchestrated and continuing demolition job to paint the project as the opposite of what it truly is.’

“It went on to directly counter what it calls ‘lies’ that have been making their rounds on social media. Among them, the idea that PAREX will kill the Pasig River, that the structure will completely cover the waterway, that the project is anti-poor, and that the new piece of infrastructure will worsen traffic and pollution.

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“Regarding the idea that PAREX will ruin the Pasig River, SMC stated that the body of water is already considered biologically dead and is a ‘flowing dumpsite for solid waste, industrial and chemical wastes, and sewage.’ It added that SMC is spending P2 billion to remove three million tons of metric waste as part of its rehabilitation efforts—a move that will supposedly enable Pasig River to channel floodwater more effectively and improve the operations of water ferries.

“SMC then clarified that PAREX will not cover the entire Pasig River, saying the structure’s posts will only take up a meter of the river’s 200-meter average width.

“The company then took the opportunity to address talk that PAREX is anti-poor and will worsen the National Capital Region’s (NCR) traffic and pollution. According to SMC, the expressway will benefit more than just private car owners as it will accommodate public transportation as well. This includes a bus rapid transit system that will connect PAREX to the Skyway, allowing for ‘faster, more reliable, safer, comfortable and affordable commutes to and from the northern, southern, eastern, and western areas of Metro Manila.’”

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DPWH officially inaugurates BGC–Ortigas Center Link Road Project

“After partially opening the BGC-Ortigas Bridge to the public back in June, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has now completed the last piece of the P1.79 billion BGC-Ortigas Center Link Road Project: the BGC-Kalayaan Viaduct.

“Along with the opening of the new two-lane viaduct, the agency has officially inaugurated the entire 1.48km road project that seeks to reduce travel time between Bonifacio Global City and Ortigas Center to 12 minutes.

“The four-lane BGC-Ortigas Bridge enables easier travel between Santa Monica Street in Pasig City and Lawton Avenue. The newly opened viaduct, meanwhile, connects Lawton Avenue all the way further to 8th Avenue in BGC.”

No-contact apprehension program launched in Cauayan City, Isabela

“More local government units are starting to adopt no-contact apprehension programs (NCAP) in their areas. The local government unit of Cauayan City in Isabela has announced that it is now implementing the same system within its jurisdiction.

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“According to the LGU, the roads in Cauayan City as well as in other areas of Isabela are regularly used by trucks and large commercial vehicles that are notorious for speeding. These vehicles are also known to travel more often at night to avoid both heavy traffic and apprehension. The city believes that an NCAP will help address this.

“Using AI technology, the cameras will be able to accurately capture the conduction stickers and plate numbers of traffic violators. Upon review and approval of the LGU, a Notice of Violation containing the date, time, and location of the violation along with the corresponding fine will be sent to the registered owners of the vehicles.

“‘With the help of NCAP, maiiwasan na natin na kahit hating-gabi may mga naaaksidente—all of [these incidents] we can prevent and deter with the program. 24/7 may mga mata na nagbabantay sa ating mga motorista sa Cauayan,’ said Mayor Bernard Faustino Dy.”

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DOTr proposes P19.8-B budget for 2022 road transport projects

“The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has proposed a P19.8 billion budget to fund its road transport sector projects for 2022, and it gives us a good look at the agency’s plans for the coming year.

“Locally funded projects will comprise P13.2 billion of the budget, while foreign-assisted projects (FAPs) amount to P6.61 billion. The DOTr’s Service Contracting Program accounts for the majority of the local projects, with a proposed P10-billion budget.

“Notable inclusions in the proposal are the Makati-BGC Greenways (P125.91 million), the Taguig City Integrated Terminal Exchange (P10.71 million), and a Bataan Bus Rapid Transit feasibility study (P100 million).

“In addition, the DOTr also allotted P1.5 billion for active transport infrastructure and other related programs. Other projects mentioned in the press release were the PUV Modernization Program (P800.71 million) the EDSA Busway Project (P472.97 million), and  P125.91 million for the Makati-BGC Greenways

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“Budget for the FAPs, meanwhile, will be earmarked for the EDSA Greenways Project (P243.47 million), the Davao High Priority Bus System (P3.59 billion),the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit Project (P2.47 billion), and the Metro Manila BRT Line Project-Quezon Avenue (P300 million).”

Nagtahan Flyover reduced to one lane to make way for repairs

“Important news for all drivers and operators of commercial vehicles: The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has announced that the Nagtahan Flyover in Manila City will be off-limits to trucks for seven months starting today.

“The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will be conducting major rehabilitation and repairs after cracks and defects were found on the bridge. This will be done to ‘avoid untoward incidents that the bridge might cause to motorists and other road users.’

“The bridge has been closed off to trucks since last year, but now, only one lane at a time shall remain usable along the bridge and the Nagtahan Service Road, and only light vehicles will be allowed passage.”

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DPWH opens new 8.72km bypass road San Fernando and San Juan in La Union

“The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has now allowed public access onto the initial segment of the Bauang–San Fernando–San Juan Bypass Road in La Union.

“This new segment is a four-lane 8.72km road that connects the municipality of San Juan to the City of San Fernando. The DPWH says it will reduce travel time between the two areas to just 15 minutes, and that it is expected to serve 32,000 motorists daily.

“The DPWH has already allocated a total of P810 million for the 22.19km Bauang–San Fernando–San Juan Bypass Road. The entirety of the project is estimated to cost around P1.57 billion.”

LTO now pilot-testing new Central Command Center, CitiSend app

“Motorists will soon have an easier way to report motor vehicle-related crimes to the Land Transportation Office (LTO), as the agency is set to open its new Central Command Center (C3).

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“The C3 will enable the public to report lost or carnapped vehicles, stolen license plates, and the sale or disposition of previously registered motor vehicles. It is still in its pilot-testing phase, but it is now operational 24/7. Reports may be submitted to the center through the C3 hotline at 1-342-586 or the CitiSend app.

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“CitiSend is the LTO’s new incident reporting app that’s now downloadable for free through the Google Play Store and soon via the Apple App Store. Screenshots of the app already show options for reporting vehicle collisions and traffic violations such as illegal parking or number-coding violations, but these are still unavailable during the C3’s pilot test.

“Other available app details also show that users will be able to send specific details and even photos of an incident, and they may chat with a trained dispatcher when needed. The app also supposedly has an emergency tracking feature that sends the user’s current location to the C3.”

3 New Skyway Stage 3 ramps are now open

Skyway Stage 3 management has some good news for motorists: Come October 1, three additional on-ramps will be open to the motoring public.

“The on-ramps opening tomorrow are Nagtahan Northbound ramp, G. Araneta Northbound ramp, and A. Bonifacio Southbound ramp. The new openings will surely make entering the elevated expressway more convenient for vehicles in their respective areas.

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“Management also took the opportunity to remind everyone that Easytrip tags still aren’t recognized on Skyway, the NAIA Expressway (NAIAX), South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), and the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX).

“The company added, however, that it is working on incorporating Easytrip into its expressway system and asked for everyone’s understanding. Look:”

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PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons, San Miguel Corporation, DPWH, Shutterstock
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