Metro subway drilling set to start in Q3
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said the P350-billion Metro Manila Subway Project would begin actual excavation activities in the third quarter of 2020.
The fabrication of heavy equipment such as the tunnel boring machine is being done by Japanese contractors, including design and construction giant Shimizu Corp.
Timothy John Batan, Transportation Undersecretary for railways, said on Monday that bigger components of the tunnel boring machine would be delivered and then assembled in the country starting August this year.
On Monday, the DOTr unveiled major parts of the tunnel boring machine such as the shield jack, cutter reduction gear motor, main bearings and articulation jack at the main office of the Manila International Airport Authority.
This was to show that the 35-kilometer subway project— the country’s first underground railway system—will be ready for partial operations by the end of 2021.
“In our evaluation, we are still on schedule for partial operability,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said on Monday.
The DOTr intends to finish three subway stations by 2021. These are the Mindanao Avenue, North Avenue and Tandang Sora stations.
The subway will also have stops in Quezon Avenue, East Avenue, Anonas, Katipunan, Ortigas North, Ortigas South, Kalayaan Ave., Bonifacio Globe City, Cayetano Boulevard, Food Terminal Inc. complex and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Full completion is expected by 2025.
The underground railway line is expected to serve 370,000 passengers daily in its first year of full operations. The DOTr, last Dec. 21, started clearing works in Valenzuela City, the site of the subway project’s eventual train depot.
The Philippine government earlier signed a loan agreement with the Japan International Cooperation Agency for the subway project, the centerpiece of a massive plan to inject new life in the country’s railway sector.
In its current pipeline, the DOTr wants to build about 322 km of railway lines by 2022, when President Duterte steps down. INQ
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