(Metro News) 13 new footbridges soon to rise in Metro Manila

January 18, 2010 2:23 pm 

MANILA, Jan. 18 — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Monday said that 13 more footbridges are soon to rise along busy thoroughfares that will prioritize their completion to further minimize traffic incidents in accident-prone areas of the metropolis.

MMDA Chairman Oscar Inocentes said the footbridges will be completed in time for the opening of the school year in June.

“Tatapusin namin ang pagtatayo ng 13 pang mga bagong footbridges ngayong taon (this year we will pursue to finish the 13 new footbridges),” Inocentes said.

“These pedestrian footbridges will ensure the safety of pedestrians and promote travel convenience of our motoring public,” Inocentes also said.

The MMDA chief urged the public to make use of these structures as they will be built primarily for their protection.

To address the complaint of women pedestrians that the footbridges will provide an ideal place for peeping toms, the agency said it will use a more durable translucent polycarbonate plastic (PCP) to cover the steps and the sides of the footbridges.

Earlier, women’s group Gabriela said the footbridges have become a favorite hangout of tricycle and pedicab drivers who feast their eyes on women, particularly female students crossing the bridge.

Though he did not identify the areas where the structures will be built, Inocentes said these are strategically selected based on pedestrian and vehicular volume. Each footbridge will also have loading bays for jeepneys, taxis, and buses not only for the safety of the commuters but also to promote the usage of public transport.

The construction of additional footbridges is part of the MMDA’s Seven Major Roads project and “Metro Gwapo” program and is in line with the 10-point agenda of President Arroyo of building infrastructures to decongest Metro Manila.

Last November, the agency also started the construction of seven steel footbridges at the intersection of Philcoa, UP-Ayala Techno Hub, INC-Central, Tandang Sora, Puregold-Luzon, Don Fabian, and Fairview Center Mall-Regalado.

The seven footbridges are estimated to serve more than 125,000 pedestrians a day and will further improve traffic flow along the stretch of Commonwealth Avenue, which had been previously known as the “killer highway” due to numerous accidents involving motorists and pedestrians crossing the road.

Also last year, the agency opened up for public use the Montillano-Alabang footbridge in Muntinlupa. The structure has a total length of 295.0 meters, making it the next longest and biggest footbridge after the Bicutan footbridge.

The structure, according to the MMDA, will be used by about 450,000 pedestrians daily.

The Bicutan footbridge is currently being used by about 150,000 pedestrians on a daily basis since its inauguration in 2008.

The P98 million Bicutan footbridge is the longest footbridge in the country spanning half a kilometer.

The footbridge project also includes geometric improvements along Commonwealth Avenue from Philcoa to Batasan. These improvements include re-painting of road gutters and lane markings, drainage repair and rehabilitation and installation of traffic furniture such as traffic directional signs.

Since 2001, the MMDA has constructed 52 footbridges all over Metro Manila.

The MMDA said that more than 1.7 million pedestrians are using the various steel footbridges on a daily basis. (PNA)

DCT/FFC/CLTC

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