MANILA - The inauguration and opening of the LRT-2 East Extension Project has been moved to July to give way to more preparatory works following the delay in the arrival of some critical equipment, the Light Rail Transit Authority said Monday.
The inauguration of the Marikina and Antipolo stations was originally set on Tuesday, June 22 but was moved to July 5. The 2 stations are expected to open for passengers on July 6, the LRTA added.
The LRTA said the postponement was made to “give maximum time for the contractor to complete the signaling migration and integration works and other preparatory activities."
The decision was made following an emergency meeting with the contractor where the safety concerns were discussed, the LRTA said in a statement.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also restricted the travel of foreign technical experts and has delayed the arrival of some critical equipment necessary for the integration activity and the monitoring of compliance with safety standards, it added.
“We regret to inform the riding public that the long-awaited opening of the 4-km LRT-2 East Extension Project was postponed for at least two weeks to give maximum time for the contractor to complete the signalling migration and integration works, and other preparatory activities,” LRTA Administrator Reynaldo Berroya said in a statement.
"We cannot compromise and risk the safety of the passengers so we recommended the postponement of the operations to the Department of Transportation to which the DOTr concurred," he added.
In May, the Department of Transportation said the railway's 2 new stations, Marikina and Antipolo, have been inspected by Transportation Secretary Art Tugade and LRT-2 Administrator Reynaldo Berroya.
The project will cut the travel time from Recto to Antipolo to only 40 minutes from 3 hours bus and jeepney rides, the DOTr earlier said.
Meanwhile, operations from Santolan to Recto will temporarily shut down on 2 consecutive weekends, on June 26 to 27 and on July 3 to 4, for the integration of the signaling system of the 2 new stations, the LRTA said.
The project broke ground in June 2015.
It was supposed to open last April, but quarantine restrictions pushed its opening date to June, and now to July.