MANILA, Philippines – After over a year of traffic-inducing construction, the underpass at the intersection of Quezon and Araneta Avenues will open today.
The underpass, whose construction began on June 20 last year, is expected to ease traffic at the busy intersection. President Benigno Aquino III and other government officials are expected to attend its inauguration before noon today.
The underpass will be opened to motorists after the inauguration ceremonies.
Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Rogelio Singson said the government spent P452 million, or P82 million below its budget of P534 million, for the underpass.
Construction was finished ahead of its December deadline, he added.
"We were able to deliver our commitment to finish this milestone project of the Aquino administration much earlier despite bad weather and unforeseen construction challenges," Singson said in a statement.
The underpass is 440 meters long and 330 meters wide. It is also equipped with three submersible pumps with individual pumping capacity of 277 liters per second.
Water cisterns, pipe culverts and concrete boxes were also constructed in order to prevent flooding in the underpass.
The underpass was designed to improve traffic flow at the intersection of Quezon Avenue and Araneta Avenue and "reduce pollution load by lessening gas emissions during traffic gridlock."
"Based on the strategic traffic master plan jointly conducted by Japan International Cooperating Agency and the University of the Philippines, dubbed 'Metro Manila Urban Transport Integrity Study,' the Quezon Avenue underpass is the most feasible and least costly measure to improve traffic on Quezon Avenue and Araneta Avenue intersection," the DPWH said.
The DPWH added that the project also covers the widening of Mariblo Bridge, improvement of service roads, and provision for street lighting, pavement markings, and traffic signs.