January 19, 2019 at 10:40 pm
Joel E. Zurbano
The Makati City government on Saturday started implementing a traffic measure to ease road congestion in connection with the closure and reconstruction of the Estrella-Pantaleon bridge, also known as Rockwell Bridge, which connects the cities of Makati and Mandaluyong.
The Department of Public Works and Highways and a private construction firm partner are now conducting road works which involve the construction of a new bridge in the area.
The project aimed not only to cater to more vehicles but also to make the bridge structurally sound in case of an occurrence of a massive earthquake.
The 30-month construction of the bridge replacement was originally scheduled in September last year but the DWPH asked the Metro Manila Development Authority and the Makati City government to defer it to give way to the holiday season when traffic is heavier.
“Effective today, Jan. 19, a traffic rerouting scheme will be implemented at Ayala Avenue and Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenue due to the closure of the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge,” the Makati City government said in its advisory to motorists.
Motorists are advised of the following changes:
The stretch of Makati Avenue from J.P. Rizal Avenue going to Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue will be converted into a one-way street. Vehicles going toward the Makati-Mandaluyong Bridge shall turn right at P. Burgos Street and head toward the intersection of J.P. Rizal Avenue and Makati Avenue and turn right toward the bridge.
Motorists turning left along Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue going to Salcedo Village must take the Zuellig Loop while those going to the Central Business District from the Makati-Mandaluyong Bridge must turn right to J.P. Rizal Avenue, turn left to N. Garcia Street, right to Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue and take a left turn to Ayala Avenue, entering the commercial district.
Motorists turning right along J.P. Rizal Avenue from the Makati-Mandaluyong Bridge can also make a left turn to Zapote Avenue.
MMDA general manager Jose Arturo Garcia Jr. said the government has decided to construct a new bridge because the old one was not designed for an urbanized city when it was built in 2010.
“The DPWH will widen the bridge from the existing two lanes to four lanes for a period of two-and-a-half years,” said Garcia.
He said the construction of the bridge will cause traffic congestion but assured motorists of its long-term benefits once completed.
With the closure, travel time of motorists could take 30 minutes to an hour, from the usual 10-minute drive, using the bridge. More than 35,000 vehicles use the 160-meter bridge daily.