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Edsa rehab will definitely push through – DPWH chief

/ 06:09 PM September 21, 2014
INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – The P3.74-billion major rehabilitation of the 23-kilometer Edsa will definitely push through, Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson has told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

In a text message, he expressed confidence the much-delayed infrastructure project would be completed before the end of President Benigno Aquino III’s term in June 2016.

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“We are confident we still can improve the road quality of Edsa,” he said on Sunday, as he also disclosed the Department of Public Works and Highways has been “looking at new technologies on pavement improvement” that could be used in the Edsa project.

One of these road rehabilitation technologies is the high-grade polymer modified bitumen, or PMB asphalt from Singapore, according to Singson.

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Reynaldo Tagudando, director of the DPWH office in the National Capital Region, said they would “test shortly the PMB,” which another agency official described as “one of the best, if not the most suitable raw materials for the Edsa asphalt overlay project.”

The PMB is said to be “more rigid and durable, as well as highly resistant to cracks and other road deformations, making it applicable for very stressed pavements and roads with high traffic volume,” the official, who asked not to be named, added.

Tagudando believes “asphalt overlay is the next best thing to the concrete reblocking and piecemeal repairs on Edsa,” Metro Manila’s busiest thoroughfare.

In a phone interview, he said the agency “still has time to finish the project … Kaya pa before 2016.”

Unlike concrete, which takes a curing period of at least three days, the application of high-grade asphalt “needs just 46 hours, then pwede nang daanan ng mga sasakyan (then vehicles can already pass on it),” he explained.

The DPWH-NCR head earlier said they had completed the Detailed Engineering Design, or DED of the Edsa project as early as April 2013.

The planned major rehabilitation of Edsa has been put on hold due to, among others, traffic-related issues raised by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), which has the final say on the issuance of permits for government road projects in the metropolis.

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Other projects that have also been put on the back burner include the construction of the Edsa-Taft Avenue flyover and the restoration of Taft Avenue as a major thoroughfare.

In January 2013, Singson told a news conference at the DPWH head office in Manila that transforming Edsa into a road as “smooth” as the North and South Luzon Expressways (NLEx and SLEx) was a concrete reality that can be achieved in one or two years.

He pointed out that the highway’s deterioration over the decades showed that “our road standards have really gone down.”

“We are settling for roads full of potholes,” he said.

Singson also stressed the need to complete the improvements on Edsa, saying the thoroughfare, which was completed in 1954 (and previously named Highway 54) had practically been neglected by previous administrations.

“Only piecemeal repairs were done there. Yet, we can equal that of both NLEx and SLEx,” he added.

Aside from the Edsa and Edsa-Taft Ave. flyover projects, five other Metro Manila road projects of the DPWH are expected to test further the patience of motorists and commuters in the region when they finally get the go-ahead of Malacañang and the MMDA.

The planned infrastructure projects, which are worth at least P8.21 billion, are the following: Phase 1 of the P.17-billion Liwasang Bonifacio-Sta. Monica bridge and the P700-million Gov. Forces-España Street underpass, both in Manila; P1.5-billion widening of the C-5 Bagong Ilog flyover in Pasig City; P793-million Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue-Makati Avenue-Paseo de Roxas vehicle underpass in Makati City; and the P481-million widening of Gen. Luis Street in Novaliches, Quezon City.

The DPWH, in a report, said that it “shall be consulting and securing the necessary approvals of Malacañang, the MMDA and other concerned agencies prior to project implementation.”

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TAGS: Construction, Department of Public Works and Highways, Edsa, Epifanio de los Santos Ave., highways, Metro, News, public infrastructure, Rehabilitation, roads, Rogelio Singson
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