Quezon Ave. underpass at Araneta Ave.: some expectations and issues
The underpass along Quezon Ave. at its junction with Araneta Ave. is set to open to general traffic this coming week. I got this from a reliable source who was involved in the project as well as friends from the DPWH and the MMDA. If the opening pushes through, the underpass is expected, based on analysis, to ease traffic along both major roads with Quezon Avenue’s through traffic having the most benefit from the uninterrupted flow provided by the underpass. At-grade traffic management at the intersection will still be provided mainly by traffic signals but the substantial reduction of traffic attributed to the through movements along Quezon Ave. The reduction of congestion comes as a relief to a lot of travelers as well as businesses affected by the construction of the underpass in the last year. Fortunately, there has been little delay in the construction and so it seems that lost times due to construction-related congestion (translated here as sacrifices for those who had to endure daily traffic congestion and had to adapt to the situation) will finally be compensated for. Many, indeed, have been anticipating the eventual opening of the underpass, expecting the facility to solve congestion in the area.
The area has been subject to flooding considering its proximity to the San Juan River. Official data for flood occurrences in the area can be accessed through the Department of Science and Technnology’s (DOST’s) Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards website where it is clear that flooding will be an enduring problem for the underpass and surrounding areas. Recent reports (from last week until today) indicate that there is still the specter of flooding that will have to be addressed given that prior to the construction of the overpass, this issue had already been flagged by various stakeholders including the Quezon City Government. It is for this reason that the underpass will have pumps to ensure that water will not accumulate and lead to the closure of the facility in times of heavy rains resulting in flash or regular flooding.