Substitute to Edsa seen facing hitches
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is looking into possible alignment issues between a private sector-proposed toll road and a separate road project it is planning in Metro Manila, its top official said.
Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar said the DPWH was reviewing the C3 Elevated Expressway project of SM Investments Corp. and Ayala Corp., noting that “there might be some conflict in the alignment.”
“We have our own C-3 project going to Makati,” Villar said, adding the Ayala and SM consortium would be asked to submit additional requirements.
The P23.7-billion C3 Elevated Expressway would stretch 8.6 kilometers. It was jointly proposed to the DPWH by the two conglomerates, which were seeking ways to ease bottlenecks while improving access to their properties.
The toll road will provide an alternative to congested Edsa and will run from Sta. Mesa Manila through
Diokno Boulevard in Pasay City. One of its objectives is to link key parts of the Makati business district, developed by Ayala, to the SM’s Mall of Asia complex.
“We need a full-blown feasibility study,” said Villar, adding that the DPWH had already started the “vetting process.”
“It’s still at a very early stage,” he added.
Issues with this project could extend beyond the government’s own evaluation.
San Miguel Corp. president Ramon Ang has raised concerns, saying his Naia Expressway project in Pasay would be affected. He earlier said the C3 Expressway would cannibalize Naia Expressway’s volume.
Jose Rene Almendras, chief executive of Ayala unit AC Infrastructure Holdings, said earlier he did not anticipate the C3 proposal to compete with existing projects, noting the severe traffic situation in Metro Manila.
Since the C3 Expressway was an unsolicited offer, it would need to undergo a competitive challenge. Almendras hoped this process would be wrapped up by the first half of 2018. He said the project would take three years to complete and should handle about 100,000 vehicles a day.
Almendras said the project would require no state funding, including right-of-way costs, typically a government expense. He said Ayala and SM would shoulder these expenses, which would likely amount to an additional “few billions of pesos.”
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