Metro Manila Subway breaks ground on February 27

Richmond Mercurio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The start of construction of the P357-billion Metro Manila subway project is finally pushing through next week after its original commencement schedule last December was moved. 

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said it would hold the groundbreaking event for the subway project on Feb. 27.

“The Metro Manila Subway is the Philippines’ first-ever underground railway system. Before, people cast doubts and said it is all but a dream. But, on Feb. 27, we will show them that this is real,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said.

The DOTr was earlier targeting to hold the groundbreaking ceremony for the project on Dec. 19, and was later on pushed back to January due to scheduling conflicts between Philippine and Japan officials.

Tugade is in Japan this week to inspect the tunnel boring machine manufactured by Hitachi Zosen that will be used for the project.

A tunnel boring machine is used to excavate tunnels using a circular cross-section mechanism. It utilizes sophisticated technology that minimizes the vibration above ground, as well as ground subsidence or surface sinking.

The DOTr said the 6.9-meter diameter tunnel boring machine being considered for the Metro Manila Subway has to be assembled in Japan for a test run and upon passing the tests, the machine will be shipped to the Philippines in parts where it will be assembled again for construction use.

The agency said a no engine power and no human operation rising sea wall that automatically rises to protect any structure from incoming floodwater is being considered for installation at the entrances of the Metro Manila Subway stations.

The Metro Manila subway is a 35-kilometer line that will have 15 stations running from Quirino Highway to NAIA Terminal 3 in Pasay City and FTI in Taguig.

Partial operations is eyed by 2022, which entails the opening of a training center, the depot, and three stations namely, Quirino Highway, Tandang Sora and North Avenue.

Full operations is expected to be completed by 2025.

With a speed of 80 kph, the DOTr said estimated travel time from North Avenue to NAIA and FTI will last about 31 minutes.

With a total project cost of P356.96 billion, the subway is regarded as the single biggest project under the Build Build Build program of the Duterte administration.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Philippine government in March last year signed a P51.34 billion loan agreement for the construction of the first phase of the Metro Manila subway project.



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