Light Rail Manila Consortium said it expects to start the construction of the Light Rail Transit Line 1 Cavite extension project by September from the original target of June because of the delay in the delivery of right-of-way.
“This year we want to start, actually our target was moved from June to September. We are also mindful that that there is a new government taking over. So, we want just to make sure that they [RoW] are in place when we start construction,” LRMC president and chief executive Jesus Francisco told reporters.
“That’s the main obstacle, but there are also some utilities that have to be moved out of the way,” he added.
LRMC of Ayala Corp. and MPIC won the bidding for the 11.7-kilometer Cavite extension project and took over the operation of LRT Line 1 on Sept.12, 2015.
Franciso said based on the extensive safety audit conducted prior to the takeover, there were only 77 light rail vehicles in safe working order and the need to limit track speed to 40 kilometres per hour. The consortium also noted the tracks were in poor condition, the signaling system was malfunctioning and the conditions of the stations were poor.
“The inherent nature of these difficulties was expected but the system had deteriorated materially from the bidding stage and did not meet the baseline standards set in the concession agreement,” he said.
LRMC as a result was seeking P1.9 billion in compensation claims for additional capital expenditure for the system.
The company earlier secured P24 billion in financing for the construction of the LRT Line 1 Cavie extension project.
The 11.7-kilometer Cavite extension will connect into the existing system immediately south of the Baclaran station and run in a generally southerly direction to Niyog, Cavite.
It will consist of elevated guideways throughout most of the alignment, except for the guideway section at Zapote which will be located at grade. It will consist of the satellite depot and new station.
Eight new stations will be provided with three intermodal facilities across Pasay City, Parañaque City, Las Piñas City and Cavite. The new stations are Aseana, MIA, Asia World, Ninoy Aquino, Dr. Santos, Las Pinas, Zapote and Niyog. The intermodal facilities shall be located at Dr. Santos, Zapote and Niyog.
The commercial speed of the Cavite extension will be 60 kilometers an hour. The horizontal alignment will be designed for a train speed of 80 kph for the mainline track, 60 kph through stations and 30 kph for secondary and depot tracks.
The extended rail line is expected to help increase the capacity of LRT 1 from 500,000 to 800,000 passengers daily and benefit over four million residents in the southern part of Metro Manila and Cavite.
LRT 1 currently accommodates a daily average of 400,000 commuters from Baclaran in Pasay City to Roosevelt in Quezon City.
Metro Pacific Light Rail Corp. controls 55 percent of the consortium while AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp. of Ayala Corp. has 35 percent. Philippine Investment Alliance for Infrastructure’s Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings (Philippines) Pte Ltd. owns 10 percent.