A Six-Lane Elevated Expressway Crossing Pasig River Is in the Works

Here's what you need to know about the upcoming Pasig River Expressway.

Traffic is a problem in Metro Manila—quarantine or not, it seems. But are more roads really the solution?

The San Miguel Corporation has announced two big-ticket projects with the goal of boosting the economy and decongesting our roads: the South Luzon Expressway Tollroad 5, which will connect Quezon province and the Bicol region, and the Pasig River Expressway, which will "traverse" the historic river and connect eastern and western sides of Metro Manila.

Both projects mean a combined P121.8 billion investment from San Miguel Corporation (SMC). The start of construction of the projects "is eyed as soon as all permits and clearances are obtained," according to a press statement.

The South Luzon Expressway Tollroad 5 (SLEX TR5) will take four years to complete while the Pasig River Expressway (PAREX) will take three years. Both were recently certified by the Toll Regulatory Board as toll roads. While no start date has been set yet, SMC is in talks with several bodies to get the ball rolling.

The Pasig River Expressway tollway will be an "elevated expressway traversing the entirety of the Pasig River," said the SMC in a statement. While it is not clear if the expressway will be built directly over the Pasig River in "entirety," it will likely join paths at some points.

Here's what else you should know about the Pasig River Expressway:

  • It will have six lanes and will be 19.4 kilometers long

  • It will span from Radial Road 10 in Manila to the connection of the South East Metro Manila Expressway and Circumferential Road 6

  • It will have the following segments: Radial Road 10 (R-10) to Plaza Azul (5.74 kilometers); Plaza Azul to San Juan River via Skyway Stage 3 (2.70 kilometers); San Juan River to the C5 Intersection (7.32 kilometers); and finally the C5 Intersection to C6 Intersection (6.30 kilometers)

  • The estimated cost is at P95.4 billion

  • It will ideally reduce travel time from R-10 to C-6 to just 15 minutes and will serve as a direct route from the east to west of Metro Manila and vice versa

  • The tollway will provide alternative access points to business districts such as Makati, Ortigas, and Bonifacio Global City

Several projects along the Pasig River have been enacted throughout the past few years. The commuter ferry was brought back in February of this year, giving folks an alternative means of transport. The Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission, which spearheaded the still-ongoing Pasig River Rehabilitation Master Plan, was abolished by President Rodrigo Duterte in November 2019, with the reigns transferred to the Manila Bay Task Force.

While there is no word yet on how this new infrastructure will affect the river system, SMC chief Ramon Ang is optimistic. Once these projects are complete, "The pandemic would have been far behind us. Other major infrastructure projects would also be complete. Our Bulacan Airport project would also be complete. So imagine: within five years, the Philippines will be transformed, and be better than ever," he said in the statement.

This story originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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