People driving or commuting from the eastern part of Metro Manila and the towns of Rizal Province have been experiencing traffic congestion for quite some time now due to the civil works associated with the improvement of Marcos Highway. The project is part of the Metro Manila Urban Transportation Integration Project (MMURTRIP) that finally pushed through after failed bids that caused significant delay to its implementation. The major components of the project include road widening and pavement rehabilitation, and the improvement of drainage along the highway. The latter component is quite important as the drainage system is supposed to contribute to the alleviation of flooding in areas along the highway. Who knows if the system could have prevented or at least mitigated the floods brought about by Ketsana (Ondoy) in 2009 if the project had been implemented according to its original schedule?
The photos below were taken during a regular commute along the highway and shows civil works in various stages of completion.
Due perhaps to the magnitude of the project, traffic congestion along many if not most sections of the highway have been inevitable though prolonged. But partly responsible for the congestion is the Manila Water concessionaire that also did their own civil works at the same time as the DPWH project. As such, the capacity of the highway was significantly reduced with the outer lanes affected by the DPWH project and the inner lanes impacted by Manila Water works.
We should be hopeful though that once the project is completed, traffic flow will greatly improve and flooding may be alleviated along the highway and its catchment area. Works seems to be continuing although there seems to be less people working on the project these days compared to when the project started. Maybe they are just spread out along the highway? The following photos show examples of progress in the civil works.
While it is expected that vehicle flow will be facilitated by the project, it can be said also that this may only encourage more vehicular traffic. As such, perhaps the next project that could be considered for this corridor is the also much-delayed extension of LRT2 towards Masinag.