MRT-7 construction suffers another delay

Elijah Felice Rosales - The Philippine Star
MRT-7 construction suffers another delay
New MRT-7 train coaches were seen along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City July 17, 2022.
STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — The Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7) is facing right of way (ROW) troubles in its Bulacan leg, causing another round of delay in the construction, the completion of which is now expected by 2027 at the earliest.

Thus, there is now the possibility that San Miguel Corp. (SMC), the developer of MRT-7, may realign the Bulacan segment of the railway upon the request of the local government of San Jose del Monte.

Last week, local officials of San Jose del Monte asked Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista to change the alignment of the Bulacan section of the MRT-7.

“What they told me is that we can divert the station to another location because the current area is too tight and many buildings will be affected. There is opposition from the building owners,” Bautista said.

With this possible alteration in the alignment, Bautista said full operations of the MRT-7 may be pushed to as late as 2028. He promised that the Department of Transportation (DOTr) would work on securing the ROW for the Bulacan stretch as quickly as possible.

What Bautista can commit to commuters is that the MRT-7 will open its Quezon City network by 2025, providing another mass transit in traveling the largest city in Metro Manila.

After this, he said the target is to complete the Tala Station in Caloocan City by 2026 and the San Jose del Monte Station by 2027 or 2028.

“We are looking at operating the Quezon City leg by the last quarter of 2025. (That is the stretch) from North Avenue to Lagro. We can no longer finish Bulacan by 2025,” Bautista said.

This means commuters should be able to use 12 stations of the MRT-7 before the end of 2025. To recall, the MRT-7 will extend for about 22 kilometers from North Avenue, Quezon City and San Jose del Monte, Bulacan.

The MRT-7 will consist of 14 stations once fully built and is projected to carry more than 800,000 passengers every day. SMC will operate the railway through a 25-year concession with the government.

The southernmost stop at North Avenue will be connected to the Unified Grand Central Station, a project that will link Light Rail Transit Line 1, Metro Rail Transit Line 3 and MRT-7.

Similar to the MRT-7’s status, Bautista said the Unified Grand Central Station is facing some issues, delaying its completion to late this year or early 2025.

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