People have been asking me if what was being constructed at the vacant lot near the College of Fine Arts and visible from the University Avenue and C.P. Garcia Avenue is the test track for the Automated Guideway Transit (AGT) project of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). I always replied in the affirmative even though I haven’t seen the construction site myself. I finally had an opportunity to visit the site though I could not go directly where people were working due to the ground conditions (it has been raining heavily in Metro Manila the past few days) and the fact that it was an impromptu visit.
The following photos confirm the ongoing construction in the area where steel bars for the columns of the elevated test track are already jutting out of the ground from the foundations. The contractor is MIESCOR, a sister firm of electric utility giant Meralco. The latter, of course, has a history with public rail transport as it operated the electric tranvias in old Manila. Meralco actually stands for Manila Electric Rail and Light Company and so it seems quite fitting rather than just coincidence that it is involved, through MIESCOR, in this project.
Construction materials piled up at the site – the expanse of the area where the test track is being built can be appreciated in the photo. That’s the rooftop of the CHED building in the background in the upper left side of the photo.
The structure should gain form in the next few weeks when work on the columns are completed and the girders forming the tracks are laid out. Perhaps the power room for the test track will also be constructed in preparation for the power system installation along the track.