Road improvements on Edsa are expected to make driving on the major thoroughfare literally a bad trip for motorists in the next two years.
The possibility loomed after the Metro Manila Council approved unanimously on Friday a plan of the Department of Public Works and Highways to rehabilitate the 23-km avenue starting May.
Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson said the repair work on Edsa will be done in three phases for 23 months under the DPWH’s Urgent Infrastructure Development Project, in time for the World Economic Forum in 2014 and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in 2015.
The P3.7-billion project is part of the agency’s commitment to improve all auxiliary roads by 2014 and all secondary roads in 2016, with a 5-year maintenance fee.
The DPWH said it aims to replace all damaged concrete pavements to ensure road stability and the carrying capacity of the road by using high-grade asphalt, as well as address the flooding problem on Edsa by declogging the existing drainage line.
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chair Francis Tolentino said they are yet to check out the available alternative routes and traffic schemes that should be in place by the time the repair work starts.
Singson has requested the help of all Metro Manila mayors in asking private subdivisions to open their lanes as alternative routes, as well as clearing the sidewalks and streets of vendors and illegally parked vehicles.
Valenzuela Mayor Sherwin Gatchalian said the underutilized Road 10 in Camanava, that serves as a parking lot for trucks, can also be used as an alternative route.
The DPWH will be posting signages regarding the rerouting scheme as soon as possible to get motorists used to the new routes.
“We’re just waiting for the repair of a 1.5m major pipe in Edsa undertaken by Manila Water. They should be done in four months,” Singson said, adding that there will be no reblocking activity in the areas covered by Manila Water.
The DPWH head said there will be inconveniences all around, but the returns will be higher after Edsa becomes a world-class highway with a smooth riding surface comparable to the north and south expressways.
A new highway will also mean better travel on the road and less carbon dioxide emissions, he added.
Motorists are also expected to save on gas since the new and improved Edsa will also reduce travel time from 76 minutes to 57 minutes during peak hours.