LRT Cavite line P 2B over budget due to pandemic
MANILA -The cost of the Cavite extension of the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT 1) has increased by at least P2 billion due to delays caused by the pandemic, according to Light Rail Manila Corp. (LRMC), which already spent P30 billion for the first phase of the railway project.
LRMC president and CEO Juan Alfonso, in an interview with reporters on Thursday, said the additional expenses—which were estimated to be as much as P4 billion—could be covered by either government funding or an extension of the 32-year concession agreement.
The railway expansion has a project cost of P64 billion.
As of end-March, the Pangilinan-led company reported 82.7-percent completion in terms of civil works and rail system works for the first phase. It is on track to open by fourth quarter of next year.
“The target this year is to complete all civil and equipment installation works so we can focus on commissioning the entire line by next year,” Alfonso said.
The first segment comprises five stations: Redemptorist, MIA road, Asia World, Ninoy Aquino and Dr. Santos. The second phase consists of Las Piñas Station and Zapote Station while the third and last phase is the Niog Station.
The 11.8-kilometer extension project, which covers major cities such as Quezon City, Caloocan, Manila, Pasay and Parañaque, starts at the Baclaran station of LRT 1. It is designed to cater to up to 800,000 passengers daily.
Right of way issues
If all the right of way concerns were settled in 2023, the LRMC official said they could finish the rest of the project in three to four years.
Light Rail Transport Authority Administrator Hernando Cabrera said there was still less than 5 percent of the right-of-way requirements in areas from Sucat until Bacoor that have yet to be acquired.
For the extension project, LRT 1 private operator is working with construction company Bouygues Travaux Publics.
The construction works started in September 2019.
“Despite the challenges we have encountered, we remained focused and committed to deliver on our promise of upgrading the commuter experience,” Alfonso said.
Cabrera, meanwhile, recently said that the fourth generation trains bought for LRT 1 were being fixed after the units were found to be unusable due to water leakage issues.
The Department of Transportation previously reported that 80 of the 120 Gen-4 light rail vehicles bought in 2017 from Mitsubishi Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles S.A. were deemed defective.