P9.8-B LRT extension project suspended

By Lenie Lectura, BusinessMirror

Posted at Jun 21 2012 06:52 AM | Updated as of Jun 21 2012 07:53 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The government has put on hold the P9.76-billion LRT (Light Rail Transit) East Extension project pending results of a study that would determine the viability of the railway project.

President Aquino “wanted to make sure that there will be sufficient or enough market to serve the extended railway project,” Transportation Secretary Manuel Roxas II said on Wednesday.

The Department of Transportation and Communications will spearhead the project, which involves a 4.2-kilometer railway system that will extend LRT Line 2 all the way to Masinag in Antipolo City. There will be two additional stations to be constructed:  Emerald Station in front of Robinsons Place Metro East in Cainta, Rizal, and Masinag Station at Masinag Junction in Antipolo City.

A source said the study was almost done and that the next step was to get a consultant to prepare the preliminary design and assist in the bidding and in the construction. “The publication of the bidding for the consultant was supposed to take place on June 11 but was put on hold because the Neda [National Economic and Development Authority)] was asking for population data,” the source added.

Neda Deputy Director General Rolando Tungpalan earlier said the LRT extension project will provide rapid and reliable mode of transit to the east of Manila and to various strategic commercial, industrial and educational districts in Metro Manila, the National Capital Region.

There are two existing LRT lines. Line 1 spans the Baclaran (Pasay City)-Monumento (Caloocan City) route. Line 2 is a 13.8-kilometer railway that runs from Santolan in Pasig City to Recto Station in Santa Cruz, Manila.

There were also plans for a Line 2 extension by about 1.62 kilometers westward from Recto Station until Delpan Street in front of Tutuban up to Divisoria Mall in Manila’s Binondo district. One additional station will be built in front of Divisoria Shopping Mall.