Thursday, 19 March 2009

Manila river ferry to Napindan links up with C-6 route

Leo A. Estonilo and Joel M. Zurbano
Manila Standard
http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/?page=police1_mar19_2009

The Pasig River ferry sails further upstream to Napindan Channel while the Department of Public Works and Highways starts this month its P48-billion C-6 Expressway alignment.

Nautical Transport Services Inc., ferry owner, opened a satellite station in Nagpayong, Pinagbuhatan in Pasig City near the C-6 Napindan bridge, at its built-up section that doubles as a flood-control dike on the Laguna lake shoreline.

Ed Bondad, Nautical Transport president, said the entire 27-km downstream to Plaza Mexico in Intramuros, Manila could be covered in an hour and a half of traffic-free cruising.

“We’re doing 24 trips on weekdays,” he said, adding that at peak capacity of 150 passengers per boat daily, his six-vessel fleet of air-conditioned catamarans is rated for at least 3,000 riders.

Bondad said the Marikina line would have stops in Eastwood, Quezon City along with Riverbanks and Sta. Elena in Marikina City.

The ferry service is operated by the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission, an agency under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Malacañang has ordered the commission to lead the cleanup of the waterway and its tributaries by regulating dumping of domestic and industrial waste, relocating settlers, improving water quality and promoting its use as a linear park and an alternative transport route among other tasks.

According to Public Works senior undersecretary Manuel Bonoan, C-6 is a six-lane tollway connecting the North Luzon Expressway in Marilao, Bulacan and the South Luzon Expressway in Bicutan, Taguig City, designed to decongest the road network in Metro Manila and spur growth in Central Luzon and the Southern Tagalog provinces.

“The project is now under feasibility study. Within the year, the department will start implementing the first segment,” he said.

When the 65-km road is completed, motorists from Bulacan going to Laguna or Cavite and vice versa will be able to bypass congested main roads in the metropolis.

“Definitely, it will have an impact on traffic. The project will relieve the traffic on either Edsa or C-5,” said Bonoan.

As programmed, P39.195 billion of the road’s budget goes to engineering and civil works while P4.841 billion takes care of right-of-way acquisition; construction targets completion in 2018.

The road will cut through San Jose del Monte City in Bulacan, turn southward and pass through Rodriguez (formerly Montalban), San Mateo, Antipolo City, Angono, and Taytay in Rizal province, entering Taguig to reach the south tollway.

C-6 will be fused with the proposed Laguna de Bay Coastal Road to Alabang, Muntinlupa City, proceeding to Cavite province’s Bacoor, Imus, Kawit, Noveleta, and Cavite City.

The infrastructure package is bundled up in three segments: North Section, NLEX to San Jose del Monte, Bulacan (16.4 km); East Section, San Jose to Marcos Highway, Antipolo (25.5 km); and Southeast Section, Marcos Highway to SLEX (22.8 km).

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