MMDA: Commuters, motorist should brace themselves for ‘carmageddon’ this Christmas season

Vehicles are seen during heavy traffic on Epifanio Delo Santos Avenue (EDSA) in Metro Manila,  Philippines on December 23, 2016. T REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

Motorists and commuters should start bracing themselves in the coming days following the start of “Ber Months” and the possible bridge closure on September 15, according to the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

According to MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia, Old Sta. Mesa Bridge and Nagtahan-Mabini Bridge are scheduled for closure next week. On September 15, starting at 9 PM, vehicles will no longer be allowed to pass the Old Sta Mesa Bridge, while the Nagtahan-Mabini Bridge will only be passable through its northbound lane. The bridges are scheduled to be finished after seven months of asphalt overlay and expansion.

Garcia addressed that the closure might lead to “carmageddon” during the Christmas season.

Earlier, the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge and Otis Bridge were closed for further renovations. The repair work on the Estrella Pantaleon Bridge, which connects Mandaluyong City and Makati City, started early this month, while the Otis Bridge in Paco, Manila was closed in June for repairs that would take nine months to finish.

MMDA also announced that Guadalupe Bridge will also be renovated in the first quarter of 2019.

However, Garcia said that over 45,000 motorists are expected to be affected daily by the closure of the Nagtahan-Mabini and the Old Sta. Mesa bridges. Prior to the closure of the bridges, EDSA, Commonwealth Ave. and other main highways will be heavily affected.

Due to the limited roads, the MMDA has been planning to implement measures that will ease the traffic gridlocks. One of the proposed measures is administering clearing operations of alternate routes, banning provincial buses, and yellow lane policy. They are also eyeing to increase fines to curb traffic disobedience from motorists, civilians, and vendors.

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