What’s delaying the completion of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1 North Extension Project?
The project involves the construction of a 5.7-km elevated line from the Monumento station of Line 1 to the North Avenue station of Line 3, with three new stations, namely, Balintawak, Roosevelt and a common station. An additional station—Malvar in Caloocan City—shall also be constructed.
The original project cost was P6.3 billion, but the revised project cost will go up to P9.6 billion, which includes the cost of construction of a common station, the proposed Malvar station, and an additional unit of rolling stock.
Commercial operation of the Balintawak station started in March last year while the Roosevelt station was put on stream in the last quarter of 2010. But the construction of a common station in front of SM Annex for LRT Line 1 Extension, Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3 and the proposed MRT 7 has not started. This was supposed to have commenced in the first quarter of this year and completed by the first quarter of 2012, but it’s already April and there’s no visible sign of any construction activity in the area. Thus, the targeted closing of the loop by early next year may not happen.
Closing the loop as soon as possible should be a priority of the Department of Transportation and Communications considering that this would substantially benefit commuters as traffic along Edsa remains chaotic, especially during rush hours.
For instance, very long lines form at the southbound portion of MRT 3 North Triangle station every morning. Of late, both the LRT and MRT lines have also experienced service interruptions. These underscore the need for the government to expand existing facilities and ensure better maintenance.
Tuesday, 19 April 2011