Rehab works on Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge to commence Jan. 19

Marje Pelayo   •   January 11, 2019   •   1959

Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge over  Pasig River in Makati City | Photo by: Judgefloro
Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge over Pasig River in Makati City | Photo by: Judgefloro

MANILA, Philippines — It’s all systems go for the rehabilitation of the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge on January 19 after being put on hold for several times.

The structure connects Estrella in Makati and Barangka Drive in Mandaluyong City.

The plan to rehabilitate the bridge has been deferred three times already.

According to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the structure is just seven years old and based on its original design, it only has a 25,000 carrying capacity.

However, there are at least 35,000 vehicles plying the bridge every single day which have caused its pavement to weaken and be at risk of collapse.

“Bukod sa paluluwangin, tinitignan din namin yung preparedness nito sa the ‘big one’ na sinasabi ng Philvocs na diyan sa Mandaluyong area eh pine-predict ang intensity,” said DPWH project manager Toyet Castillo.

The DPWH plans to add two more lanes to the bridge’s existing two so that more vehicles will be able to ply on the bridge.

There will also be expansion of the sidewalks and strengthening of its foundation.

The project costs P1.47 billion but the government will not shoulder any amount since the overall fund is a grant from China.

The bridge will be temporarily closed to motorists for a period of three years.

For this reason, motorists are advised to take an alternative route.

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) sees heavy traffic situation especially in Makati because of the bridge’s closure.

“Dati ang average niyan para makatawid ka sa bridge mga 10 minutes lang nandoon ka na sa kabila. Kapag nagsara iyan, mga 30 minutes, kasi iikot ka pa. Pero I doubt it, baka 1 hour,” explained MMDA general manager, Jose Arturo Garcia.

The MMDA is now coordinating with the traffic bureaus from Makati and Mandaluyong to help clear the roads that will serve as alternative routes for motorists.

Aside from the Estrella-Pantaleon bridge, the MMDA also plans to begin the rehabilitation of Guadalupe Bridge in Makati and Lambingan Bridge in Manila. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Joan Nano)

Portion of Makati condominium building collapses

Robie de Guzman   •   April 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A portion of a condominium building in Makati City collapsed on Thursday morning, April 30.

In a report, the Makati City Police said a slab of the mezzanine floor of SM Jazz Mall Tower D, located along Nicanor Garcia Street and Metropolitan Avenue in Makati City, collapsed around 11 a.m.

Makati City Police chief Police Colonel Rogelio Simon said no one was reported injured and only cars parked in front of the mall building were damaged by falling debris.

“From there gumuho yung portion niya, bumagsak sa baba tapos may tinamaan na mga sasakyan. Luckily, wala tayong recorded na namatay o kaya injured sa area dahil ‘yung pinagbagsakan is the entrance ng mall mga private property,” he said.

In a statement posted on its Facebook page, the SM Development Corporation (SMDC) said that the “façade wall of the parking level at Jazz Mall sustained damage that caused its outer slab to collapse to the driveway.”

“As of this posting no serious casualties were reported,” it added.

The SMDC said that as a safety precaution, residents have been directed to stay near Metropolitan Avenue.

Residents of all four towers of SM Jazz residences were evacuated following the incident.

Members of the Makati City Bomb Disposal Team also went to the scene following reports of what sounded like an explosion coming from the area. However, they found no traces of bomb after conducting an inspection.

Simon said the investigation into the incident is underway.

“On going pa ‘yung mga gathering information natin kung ano ang nangyari,” he said.

They have also formed a team that will do a walk-through inside Tower D to determine its structural integrity.

“Mayroon na tayong initial ang sabi nila days before may mga residents doon sa portion na ‘yun may naririnig ng parang lumalagitik na bakal, mga yero parang mga ganun pero hindi nila pinansin ‘yun,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Vincent Arboleda)

14 women rescued from Makati spa allegedly offering ‘extra service’

Robie de Guzman   •   February 25, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Authorities on Tuesday rescued 14 women during a raid in a spa allegedly offering “extra service” to its customers in Makati City.

Makati City police chief Colonel Rogelio Simon said they launched the operation against the spa after confirming an information that the establishment offers extra service aside from massage and other therapies.

“Actually, ito ay legitimate ito na spa kung saan meron nagmamasahe, may therapies, may mga kwarto nakita naman natin,” he said.

“Pero pagdating nga doon sa loob nag-uusap na, o di kaya meron ng prior na usapan doon pa lang sa front desk kung anong serbisyo na kukunin ng isang parokyano at meron na rin doon nakalagay na presyo at babayaran ng parokyano at gagawin naman ng therapies dun sa parokyano nila,” he added.

Based on their investigation, the spa charges its customers around P2,500 to P5,500 depending on the service they want to avail.

Police also invited for investigation three Chinese customers who were inside the establishment during the raid.

The owner of the spa was nowhere to be found during the operation but Simon said they will work on having the establishment shut down. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Bernard Dadis)

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Sevilla Bridge in Mandaluyong closed to traffic on February 8

Robie de Guzman   •   February 7, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Sevilla Bridge in Mandaluyong will be closed to vehicular traffic at 10 p.m. on Saturday, February 8, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced Friday.

In an advisory, the MMDA said this is to give way to the movement of the equipment, including barges and cranes, downstream by the contractor for the Skyway Stage 3 project.

The agency advised affected motorists to expect traffic slow down and to take alternate routes.

The bridge, which connects the cities of Mandaluyong and San Juan, will reopen on Sunday, February 9 at 5 a.m.


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