DoTr postpones inauguration of LRT-2 east extension to June due to COVID-19 threat
This undated file photo shows the LRT-2.
The STAR/Miguel de Guzman

DoTr postpones inauguration of LRT-2 east extension to June due to COVID-19 threat

(Philstar.com) - April 16, 2021 - 4:53pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation pushed back the inauguration of the Light Rail Transit-2 (LRT) East Extension Project to June 23 from April 26 due to COVID-19 threat.

In a statement on Friday, the DoTr said they reset the inauguration “following recent developments in the country’s COVID-19 situation despite the project being substantially complete.”

The department said it will instead hold an operational trial run on April 26.

Transport Undersecretary for Railways TJ Batan added that the resetting of the inauguration date is also to “protect the health and safety of the rail workers and the riding public.”

The STAR reported on Thursday that at least 787 train personnel were infected with the novel coronavirus. LRT recorded the most number of COVID-19 cases with 251 infections.

The LRT2 management earlier said that they will operate for shorter hours, from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.—from original 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.—due to rising COVID-19 cases among employees.

Batan also said that foreign rail experts who are necessary for the final stages of installation, testing and commissioning of works have been unable to enter the country due to travel restrictions.

COVID-19 restrictions also affected the final stages of installation, testing and commissioning for the extension line’s Overhead Catenary System (OCS), power systems and signaling, the DoTr added. These will be completed before the inauguration in June.

The transport department said that as of February 28, the LRT-2 East Extension Project has an overall progress rate of 96.51%, while the construction phase is at 94.03%.

The east extension project will add two new stations in Marikina City and Antipolo, which are expected to cut travel time for commuters between Manila and Antipolo to just 40 minutes. It is also seen to increase the LRT-2’s capacity by 80,000 passengers per day. — Kristine Joy Patag with reports from Franco Luna, The STAR/Ghio Ong

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