Several roads to be closed for APEC meet

Mike Frialde - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Portions of EDSA and Roxas Boulevard will be closed to traffic during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation  (2015) Leaders’ Summit in Manila from Nov. 16-20.

According to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), only APEC vehicles are allowed to use the two innermost lanes of EDSA’s five lanes both northbound and southbound from the intersection of Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong to the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) in Pasay City on those five days in November.

Along Roxas Boulevard from the Manila Hotel to the Airport Road, only APEC vehicles can use the entire southbound lane. The northbound lane meanwhile will be made two-way for non-APEC vehicles.

UPDATED LIST AND MAPS: Metro Manila roads closed for APEC events

At the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) area the following streets located close to the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) will be closed to traffic from Nov. 16 to 20: Bukaneg St., Vicente Sotto St., M. Jalandoni St., Buendia Avenue Extension and the J.W. Diokno Boulevard Bridge.

Meanwhile, the MMDA has designed a traffic plan for MOA area which will be implemented starting 6 a.m. of Nov. 18. Serving as alternate routes from MOA for private and public utility vehicles are the Seaside Boulevard and the Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard. Public utility buses from EDSA, meanwhile, are allowed to pass through Roxas Boulevard going to the Baclaran Church. Streets around the Mall of Asia Arena and those near the World Trade Center, the PICC and Star City will be closed to traffic.

The MMDA is advising motorists to take the following alternate routes instead of passing through Roxas Boulevard: (northbound lane) From P. Burgos, take Orosa St., turn right at Kalaw Avenue, turn left at M.H. del Pilar, left at Quirino Avenue, turn right at F.B. Harrison, to EDSA, to destination. 

(Southbound lane) From EDSA, turn right at F.B. Harrison, straight to Mabini St., right at Kalaw Avenue, turn left at Orosa St., to P. Burgos, to destination.

(Northbound and southbound) From EDSA, turn right at Taft Avenue, to Manila City Hall, to destination and vice versa.

(Northbound and southbound) From EDSA, take Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard, turn left at Pacific Avenue, right at Cavitex, to destination, and vice versa.

The MMDA also said that a “stop and go” scheme will be implemented along parts of EDSA, Roxas Boulevard, Skyway and the South Luzon Expressway and roads along the Ninoy Aquino International Airport from Nov. 15 to 20. Under the “stop and go” scheme, all traffic on these areas would be stopped whenever APEC leaders would be passing through.  Traffic would only resume after the APEC leaders have passed.

In addition, the MMDA is also advising airline passengers to carefully plan their trips as security will be tight in all NAIA terminals on Nov. 17, 19 and 20. The MMDA added that a “no fly zone” would also be implemented in these areas.

Meanwhile, the MMDA said a daytime truck ban would be implemented on the south truck route (from Port of Manila to the South Luzon Expressway) from Nov. 16 to 20. During the daytime truck ban, trucks are only allowed on the roads from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Meanwhile, a 24-hour truck ban will be imposed on Roxas Boulevard during the week, the MMDA said.

MMDA officer-in-charge Emerson Carlos said the regular truck ban hours (6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and again from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.) will be reinstated immediately after the APEC summit.

“This will assure the efficient mobility of the APEC delegates in our major thoroughfares, especially in Manila, Pasay and Makati areas where the summit’s major events will take place,” Carlos said.

The MMDA said trucks affected by the modified truck ban can use the following alternate routes:

From South Luzon Expressway/Cavite Area to Port Area (and vice versa):

From Port of Manila straight to R10, right at C3, left at A. Bonifacio Avenue take right turning flyover toward Quirino highway, right at Mindanao Ave., left at Congressional Ave., right at Luzon Ave. straight to Katipunan/C5 to SLEX and vice versa.

Road work suspended

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) plans to suspend for two weeks all repair and construction projects along roadways that will be used during the APEC Summit.

DPWH Undersecretary Alfredo Tolentino, who is in-charge of the agency’s preparations for the APEC, said that the APEC-National Organizing Council (NOC) is asking them to suspend operations from Nov. 7 until Nov. 20.

Tolentino said they are willing to abide by the NOC’s order but they are appealing for a three-day extension for the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Expressway project, where instead of Nov. 7 the department should be allowed to stop work on Nov. 10 to give the contractor more time for construction.

“In all our projects, we are amendable to start the work stoppage on November 7 except at the NAIA Expressway, that is our request. But this has not yet been finalized so if they say we should stop on Nov. 7, then we will follow and implement the work stoppage on Nov. 7,” Tolentino said.

The traffic buildup created by the ongoing construction of the NAIA Expressway is a concern for the APEC-NOC.

Tolentino said the work stoppage would not apply to other ongoing DPWH projects in Metro Manila that would not be used by the APEC leaders and delegates.

Among the roads that would be utilized during the APEC meeting are EDSA, NAIA, Roxas Boulvard and streets leading to the hotels such as in Manila and Makati where the international leaders and other delegates are billeted.

Work at the NAIA Expressway project should be stopped because the delegates would be coming from the airport and it would hamper their travel if they are caught in heavy traffic in the area.

The estimated P15.86-billion NAIA Expressway, a private-public partnership (PPP) project is a four-lane elevated expressway connecting the PAGCOR Entertainment City to NAIA 1, 2 and 3. Once it is completed by middle of next year, the project is expected to benefit 80,000 travelers every day and reduce travel time from the Skyway to NAIA Terminal 1 from 24.3 minutes to 8.2 minutes.

Once they suspend work on these roadways, Tolentino said they would start cleaning the project sites.

He said that while there are still road projects along EDSA, he is confident that they would be able to finish them before Nov. 7.

“There is no more work along Roxas Boulevard. As for EDSA, we are just finishing up on the road reblocking and asphalt overlay on some of the segments,” Tolentino added.

As for Macapagal Boulevard that leads to the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), the DPWH official said this and surrounding streets are under the Public Estates Authority (PEA).

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