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C-6 expansion and upgrading on the way…

The opening of the second Barkadahan Bridge prodded me to post something about C-6. It is a work in progress but currently you can see the progress that is quite noticeable unlike before. Here are a couple of photos we took while en route to BGC last weekend.

Ongoing paving along C-6 for the westbound side of the highway. The photo shows recently completed PCCP slabs for 2 lanes. Forms are visible in the photo. 

Other sections have had their base compacted and ready for concrete pouring.

As a regular user of C-6 since 2014, I am one of those who look forward to the completion of its expansion and upgrading. There is also something to look forward to for cyclists and pedestrians/joggers/runners as there is a wide bikeway and segregated walkway being constructed along the side of right side of the future eastbound side of the highway. This should encourage non-motorised traffic along this corridor that directly connects Taguig, Pateros, Pasig and Taytay and extends to serve the southern part of Metro Manila, Makati City and the province of Rizal.

Newly opened sections of C-6

I have been wanting to post these photos of the newer sections of Circumferential Road 6. The section was constructed  months ago and is part of a project that seeks to widen the current stretch of C-6 from Taguig (Lower Bicutan) to Pasig (Napindan) from the old 2-lane, 2-way road into a 4-lane, divided road. The new section opened to general traffic along the southbound side (to Taytay) and has improved traffic along the section that’s provided people from Rizal an alternative route to Makati and BGC through Taguig. Only, light vehicles are allowed along the new section and trucks and other heavy vehicles take the old road, which is quite battered by the traffic. Only one lane is currently available as there are barriers along the section as shown in the following photos. Traveling along the section also afford people a nice view of the Laguna de Bay to the right.

Repair C6 now!

The existing roads that comprise what has been designated  as Circumferential Road 6 is an important link that serves as an alternate route for people and goods traveling between the eastern towns of Rizal province and Metro Manila to urban centres in Makati (Ayala CBD) and Taguig (Bonifacio Global City) as well as the southern areas of Metro Manila all the way to Laguna and Cavite. During the last dry season or summer, the roads conditions have been quite good such that travellers from Rizal could easily reach BGC or Makati in less than an hour give and take typical congestion during the peak periods.

The situation has significantly worsened since the onset of the wet season as the pavement quickly deteriorated with the combination of heavy rains and heavy vehicles utilising the road. Highway 2000 from Taytay, Rizal was already in bad condition during the summer so it became only worse once the rains came. However, it is the C6 segment from Pasig to Taguig that has deteriorated and is now in a state of disrepair. Following are photos that show how bad the conditions are and which have led to travel times worsening to more than double than what it should be if the roads were in good condition.

10171274_10152311461081889_7569716475256902561_nSection in Taguig along the shores of Laguna de Bay where even large trucks avoid the deep holes along the road. These situations along C6 constrict traffic everyday.

10703562_10152311461566889_6414876550669679017_nC6 section in Pasig City where what used to be asphalt is now a muddy mess.

10635802_10152311462251889_8405359378178629931_nAnother section in Pasig City where C6 passes through a relocation area (Lupang Arenda) where local traffic affects through traffic and C6 is probably at its narrowest.

The section from Pateros to Taguig was built as a road dike protecting these areas from floods brought about by the increasing level of Laguna de Bay during the wet season. While it is basically a secondary road compared to the other circumferential roads, traffic has significantly increased along C6 due to many people discovering that you can travel faster between Rizal and Makati or BGC via this road. Sadly, there seems to be little or no attention given to its current state.

I understand that the DPWH has a process for determining whether a road needs to be repaired and given limited resources, the agency also applies a process for prioritisation of road repairs (i.e., there are many other roads that also need repairs). However, there should be a way to allocate resources for the repairs of the road and this includes involving the LGUs whose constituents benefit from the use of the road. Rizal province and towns and Pasig City should take the initiative to find ways to improve the conditions along C6. It is also in the interest of Taguig to improve this road as many of its residents use it, too. Hopefully, the road will be repaired sooner rather than later and travel times will improve again. Of course, this should be the case whether or not the proposed C6 expressway is realised.

C6: Bicutan to Napindan

I wrote about Circumferential Road 6 (C-6) in a previous post where I featured some photos taken while we were en route to the DOST compound in Bicutan, Taguig City. It was originally constructed as a dike road, an access road along the barrier constructed along the coast of Laguna de Bay to provide additional protection to Taguig City against the lake waters breaching the banks during incidence of heavy rains. Once the link between Taytay, Pasig, Pateros and Taguig was completed, however, traffic significantly increased as C-6 provided a very convenient alternate route for people residing in the east who had to go to Makati, Taguig or southern Metro Manila mostly for work trips. Following are photos showing C-6 from Bicutan to Napindan, before crossing to Pasig City.

IMG04765-20121109-1545Tree-lined – one can imagine how the highway will look like once the trees planted along either side are full-grown

IMG04766-20121109-1545C-6 is a two-lane, undivided highway with a sidewalk along the Taguig side and a shoulder along the dike along the coast of Laguna de Bay

IMG04767-20121109-1549Approach to the intersection with Seagull Ave., which connects M.L. Quezon Ave. and Taguig proper in the west and Bay Breeze Subdivision in what appears to be a small peninsula on the bay.

IMG04768-20121109-1549Most sections of the existing C-6 have no pavement markings.

IMG04769-20121109-1550The entire road is of asphalt concrete pavement.

IMG04770-20121109-1550There are several pumping stations along C-6, which reminds people of the flood control aspect of the dike and the road. The photo shows the Taguig Pumping Station operated by the MMDA.

IMG04772-20121109-1550While C-6 provides an alternative route for travelers from the eastern towns of Rizal wanting no part of the traffic congestion along Ortigas Avenue and C-5 en route to Makati or Taguig (or back from these areas), peak traffic is usually predictable and at other times of the day, volumes are quite low as shown in the photos.

IMG04774-20121109-1552There aren’t any  significant developments or establishments for most part of C-6.

IMG04775-20121109-1552The undeveloped lands are mainly due to these areas being flood prone, and requiring extensive improvements to raise elevations and provide for adequate drainage.

IMG04777-20121109-1552 Labasan pumping station – is practically the only building for a long stretch of the highway.

IMG04778-20121109-1553Past the Labasan Pumping Station, are more undeveloped areas along the highway. At right in the photos is the dike that serves as  IMG04779-20121109-1553The bridge across the Napindan channel of the Pasig River is further ahead (downstream), which travelers can use to cross to Pasig City.

The stretch of C-6 from M.L. Quezon to Napindan is currently subject to studies for widening as traffic steadily increases due to the very strategic position of the road. However, there should be a more direct link between C-6 and C-5 so as to maximize the benefits of the road, particularly as an alternative route between Rizal province, and Bonifacio Global City and Makati CBD. I estimate that travels times can be reduced significantly for people traveling between their homes in Antipolo and Taytay to the offices in Makati and Taguig (Fort Bonifacio). On a normal day, this trip can take easily more than 60 minutes due to congestion along Ortigas and C-5, the usual route for most people. With the alternate route, it might just be possible to reduce it to say 45 minutes, give and take some congestion. Of course, once this alternate route is discovered by more people (and UV Express vehicles are already using this route), then it would attract more traffic and necessitate an increase in capacity for it to handle such traffic. But then the result may well be an easing in traffic along Ortigas and C-5 so that should be good until perhaps we finally have a good public transport system in place along Ortigas and C-5. BRT? That deserves another post…