MMDA to implement traffic adjustments in Alabang, EDSA Balintawak starting Feb. 14

Robie de Guzman   •   February 14, 2020   •   1022

MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will implement traffic adjustments and traffic rerouting starting February 14, Friday in areas along Alabang in Muntinlupa City and Balintawak in Quezon City to give way to the ongoing construction of Skyway Extension and Skyway Stage 3 projects.

In an advisory, the MMDA said that beginning 11 p.m. Friday, one lane closure will be implemented on EDSA Balintawak Northbound towards North Luzon Expressway to give way to the erection of vertical bridge support under the EDSA Bridge as part of the Skyway Stage 3 project.

Light vehicles going to NLEX and Monumento are advised take the Balintawak Interchange ramp going to Cubao and take the U-turn slot after Cloverleaf Market going to NLEX.

Meanwhile, two lanes will be closed on EDSA Balintawak going to Cubao on Sunday, February 16 for the erection of interconnection flatform tower on top of EDSA Bridge.

Light vehicles coming from Monumento via EDSA before reaching Balintawak may turn right to A. de Jesus St. then left to C3 to destination.

The MMDA said the lane closures will be until March 5.

The agency also announced that starting 6 a.m. of February 16, one-way traffic scheme for southbound vehicles will be implemented in West Service Road of South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) from Alabang Hills to Alabang Zapote Road to give way to the construction of Skyway Extension from Hillsborough to Filinvest Exit.

Skyway-Hillsborough off-ramp will be closed to traffic, and Class 2 vehicles such as buses and delivery vans from Magallanes to Alabang are not allowed along the elevated Skyway.

One-way traffic will also be implemented on Northbound lane of Alabang temporary Steel Ramp from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m., daily.

The MMDA said the same traffic scheme will also be implemented along Skyway from Sucat Interchange to Alabang-Zapote Road and on Southbound lane of Alabang temporary Steel Ramp daily from 9 a.m. to 5 a.m. of the following day.

The agency said the construction will last for three months.

Affected vehicles northbound are advised to take the Alabang via-duct at grade level.

Further, girders will also be launched along A. Bonifacio where one lane going to NLEX will remain passable and two lanes for those going to Manila for eight nights from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. on February 22 to 29.

Motorists are advised to take the following alternate routes:

1.     Light vehicles going to NLEX and Monumento may take the Balintawak Interchange ramp going to Cubao and take the U-turn slot after Cloverleaf Market going to NLEX.

2.     Light vehicles going to Novaliches and NLEX may take zipper lane at the left immediately before the construction site towards destination.

3.     Light vehicles from NLEX (going to Manila/Caloocan) may take the Balintawak Interchange Ramp going to Monumento via EDSA then left to A. De Jesus St. then left to C3 to destination.


The MMDA said the construction will last for 21 days or until March 5.

The Skyway Stage 3 is a 14.8-kilometer elevated tollway project which connects Skyway/SLEX Buendia to NLEX Balintawak while the Skyway Extension project extends the existing toll road to Susana Heights/Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway.

Both the Skyway Stage 3 and Skyway Extension Projects are part of the government’s “Build, Build, Build” program.

MRT-3 to operate at reduced capacity as COVID-19 cases in depot rose to 127

Maris Federez   •   July 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The MRT management will limit the number of trains in operation starting July 6.

This after the number of its personnel tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), bringing the total of positive cases to 127, a Department of Transportation (DOTr) advisory said.

Initial report said the 127 cases consist of 124 Sumitomo Depot personnel and 3 MRT-3 Depot personnel who will be placed under mandatory quarantine and medication.

DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan said that with the guidance of the IATF-EID and upon the advice of Sumitomo-MHI, MRT-3 will be able to continue operations, with the possibility of reducing capacity or with fewer trains.

“Sumitomo requested to discuss on a day-by-day basis the level of operations that they can sustain as results of the mass swab testing continue to be released. In the meantime, Sumitomo advised that they are able to continue with operations to service MRT-3’s tens of thousands of passengers, although at a reduced level,” said Usec Batan.

“While we try to do our best to keep the same maintenance performance through this week, we would like to discuss with DOTr MRT3 office day by day, how much maintenance level we would be able to keep, in view of the number of COVID-19 infected people,” said Masanori Honda of Sumitomo.

The advisory also said that “to augment MRT-3’s further reduced capacity due to the quarantine of some of its depot personnel, DOTr will be boosting its Bus Augmentation Program and EDSA Busway service, in coordination with the DOTr Road Sector, LTFRB, and MMDA.”

“Per guidance of the IATF-EID, additional measures and precautions will be taken during MRT-3’s reduced operations, including requiring full PPE for stations and depot personnel, limiting movement of depot personnel to their immediate areas of responsibility, increased disinfection activities, and heightened monitoring and screening of symptoms among all personnel,” the advisory further read.

Meanwhile, MRT reminds the public that it will suspend operation on July 4 and 5 to give way to their rail replacement activities. —(with details from Joan Nano) /mbmf

MMDA to probe shuttle bus driver over bus lane violation

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 23, 2020

The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will investigate the shuttle bus driver who forcefully entered the bus lane route.

As seen in the CCTV footage, the military escorts accompanying the bus driver took out the concrete barriers in order for the shuttle bus to enter the bus lane.

“Wala naman tayong entry point doon and yet pinilit niyang pumasok. Ginamit pa niya iyong military escorts niya na i-move ang barrier para magkasya siya (We don’t have an entry point there and yet he still attempted to enter. He even had his military escorts to move the barriers for his shuttle bus to fit and get through),” according to MMDA EDSA Traffic Chief Edison ‘Bong’ Nebrija.

The MMDA already issued a ticket for the said violation but Nebrija said they want to conduct further investigation to determine if the shuttle bus driver received any instructions that they can ply through the bus lane.

“Hindi ko alam kung kaninong instruction nila nakuha iyan na pwede sila dyan sa bus way natin. Hindi nga pwede (I don’t know where they got that instruction that they can enter the busway. They are not allowed),” he said.

The MMDA reiterated that bus lanes are only reserved for city buses, and other vehicles are not allowed.

Meanwhile, the Joint Task Force of the National Capital Region will investigate the military escort that moved the concrete barriers. —AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

Construction of bike lanes along EDSA to start on June 13

Robie de Guzman   •   June 12, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The construction of protected bike lanes along EDSA, Metro Manila’s main thoroughfare, will begin on Saturday, June 13, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced Friday.

The DOTr made the announcement following Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade’s meeting with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, led by its chief Danilo Lim on Thursday, June 11.

During the meeting, the DOTr and MMDA agreed to start construction of bike lanes on June 13.

Tugade and Lim also decided to expedite the establishment of the protected bike lanes on the roads and not on sidewalks, as more people are shifting to this active mode of transport amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Our goal is to move people while making sure of their safety,” Tugade emphasized.

According to Lim, the bike lane would provide at least 1.5 meters of space for bikers.

The DOTr said the project will be done in two phases: the interim and long term.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) earlier called on local government units to establish bike lanes and create a bike road network for the use of employees who are opting to ride a bicycle going to work amid limited public transportation.

Proposals seeking for the creation of protected bike lanes and emergency pathways as the public transitions to a “new normal” have also been filed in Congress.

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