A group of investors in Makati City has inaugurated the first of two new pedestrian overpasses on Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue as part of their tri-level pedestrianization program to help the local government in promoting healthy environment in the central business district.
Officials of the Makati Commercial Estate Association said the construction of the P55-million roof-covered footbridge—with glass railings and escalators stretches from the RCBC Plaza Building to the Columns Ayala Avenue—is also meant to ease traffic by supporting walking as the safer, more convenient, and affordable option to move around the business district.
Macea, represented by its vice chairman architect William Coscolluela and Makati City Mayor Abigail Binay, led the simple inaugural ceremony for the new footbridge, which the group said will benefit thousands of pedestrians and motorists who traverse the busy road day and night.
Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue is a major arterial street in Metro Manila that runs on an east-west-east course through the cities of Makati and Pasay, from Epifanio de los Santos Avenue on the east to Roxas Boulevard on the west.
Formerly called Buendia, the avenue honors the late statesman who served as senator for 21 years with five terms as senate president.
Macea has set the second overpass for completion in April 2018. The covered footbridge, which cost about P70 million, will link the People Support building to the Makati Post Office and will be constructed with the same quality standards.
The group, composed of 391 businessmen in the country’s main financial and commercial district, is also undertaking the escalator modernization program in the area. It has also recently completed the replacement of 11 escalators at the Legazpi Underpass, V.A. Rufino Street, Paseo de Roxas and the elevated walkway entrance to Greenbelt 5 shopping center.
A total of 29 escalators are set for upgrades, including escalators in the kilometer-long elevated pedestrian walkway from Greenbelt to Salcedo Street near the Makati Medical Center.
“We envisioned the program as a network of tri-level pedestrian pathways composed of underground passageways, on-grade covered sidewalks, and elevated walkways,” said Macea president David Balangue.
Macea also made improvement on way-finding system in the central business district where the new street signs are larger, bigger fonts with reflectorized text and graphic designs on the side to represent the colors of “Make It Makati” and the Macea logo, which are also visible at night.
“Twenty-eight new street signs have been installed in all the street corners along Ayala Avenue, from Apartment Ridge near Edsa all the way to Gil Puyat Avenue. Eventually, the new way-finding system will cover all the street corners in the entire business district,” said Balangue.
“This will aid the general public in navigating through the dynamics streets and iconic landmarks of the central business district,” he added.
Macea has been a primary mover in the district’s development, building some seven underpasses, on grade covered sidewalks, and the De La Rosa Elevated Walkway.
The latest 305-meter extension from VA Rufino Street to Salcedo Street was built at a cost of P110.6 million over a year and eight months. This brings the Dela Rosa Elevated Walkway to about 1,100 meters long, making it the country’s longest elevated pedestrian walkway.
Macea will be having more projects to benefit residents, workers and visitors to the country’s premier finance, business and commercial district. This include the bus rapid transport lane system fro Edsa-Ayala in Makati City to Taft Avenue in Pasay City.
The proposal for the P1-billion BRT project has already been submitted to the Department of Transportation.
Coscolluela said the BRT project will give convenience to the public, especially to the people working at the Central Business District.
“If you notice, most people hanging out on Ayala Avenue during peak hour. It’s a long line, they’re going to Edsa [Makati] to Taft Avenue [Pasay]. With the cooperation of the city government to work on BRT system, everything is in place. We already proposed this to the DOTr. It will be the first in Manila if we do the BRT system. Like in Cebu and Indonesia which are very successful. We’ll soon we’ll work on this development,” he said.
The project has been proposed in 2011 but it was not pushed during the term of then President Benigno Aquino III.
Then Makati mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay even wrote a letter to former DoTC secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya and sought urgent action on the proposal, which he had favorably endorsed to Abaya’s predecessor Jose de Jesus.
Based on the original proposal, the BRT will connect Metro Railway Transit Ayala Station to the Light Railway Transit Buendia Station, starting from the corner of Edsa and Ayala Avenue and traversing Ayala Avenue, turning left at Gil Puyat (Buendia) and ending at the LRT Line 1 Buendia Station along Taft Avenue.
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