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Commonwealth residents get reprieve

DOTr agrees to postpone closure of Tandang Sora flyover, intersection to March 2

ONE-WEEK POSTPONEMENT Quezon City officials heave a sigh of relief after their request to defer the closure of the Tandang Sora flyover and intersection is granted. —JAM STA ROSA

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) approved on Thursday the Quezon City government’s request to move the closure of the Tandang Sora flyover and intersection from February 23 to March 2.

The weeklong reprieve came after Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte and the city council asked the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to give them time to prepare for the closure which was expected to last until 2020.

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Among those consulted by the MMDA about the city government’s request were DOTr and its private partner for the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 7 project, San Miguel Corp.

Major adjustments

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“While we want the construction of the MRT 7 to proceed as fast as possible, the DOTr also understands that major adjustments have to be made by residents, commuters and motorists affected,” the DOTr said in a statement.

The closure of the four-lane intersection and flyover was to give way to the construction of the Tandang Sora station, one of the 14 stations of the 22-km MRT 7 line.

The MMDA estimated that more than 100,000 motorists passing through Commonwealth Avenue and Tandang Sora intersection would be affected by the shutdown.

The agency has given itself until Sunday to clear the alternate routes on Luzon, Visayas and Congressional Avenues and other roads of illegally parked vehicles and other obstructions.

At the same time, barangay officials in Districts 2, 3, 5 and 6—areas that would be affected by the closure—have been tasked with identifying other possible alternate routes, including subdivision roads, to decongest traffic, Belmonte said.

She added that they would also begin installing signs for U-turn slots and alternate routes where motorists would be diverted.

Two temporary U-turns would be opened on Commonwealth Avenue in the meantime: one across Microtel at UP Techno Hub and another in front of CW Home Depot.

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According to Belmonte, the city council has yet to be informed about future road closures due to the ongoing MRT 7 line construction.

In a consultative meeting held on Wednesday, MRT 7 contractor EEI Corp. told stakeholders that it had been keeping the Office of the City Mayor abreast of traffic management plans.

However, the information was not shared with the city council, Belmonte said, adding that she had asked EEI Corp. to do so in the future.

Many of the 14 stations of the MRT 7, which will run from San Jose del Monte in Bulacan province to North Avenue in Quezon City, will be built on Commonwealth Avenue.

Busy week ahead

 

“We thank DOTr for acceding to our request of delaying the closure for at least a week. This week will be very busy for all of us because this is the time we’ll be informing the public and hopefully, they can tell us their concerns and we can come up with some kind of solution,” Belmonte said in a statement.

Jordan Tolentino, former president of the Alliance of Quezon City Homeowners Associations Inc., also said the one-week postponement was very welcome.

“We saw during the public consultation that neither the public nor the barangay [officials] were consulted. We are at a loss as to their plans,” he said. —WITH A REPORT FROM JODEE A. AGONCILLO

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TAGS: closure, DoTr, Joy Belmonte, MMDA, MRT-7, Quezon City, Tandang Sora flyover
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