MANILA - The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Thursday agreed to postpone the closure of the Tandang Sora interchange and flyover for a week, in heed of requests from the Quezon City Council and Congress.
In a statement, the DOTr said it understood "major adjustments" that residents, commuters and motorists who use the route would have to make.
"The Department of Transportation (DOTr) accedes to the request of Congress and the local city council of Quezon City to postpone the closure of the Tandang Sora interchange and flyover by one week," it said.
"We take this postponement as a period to strengthen public awareness and cooperation for the project, as this would give individuals and agencies ample time to prepare and manage the traffic situation in the area," the DOTr said in a statement.
The permanent closure of the flyover had been set on Feb. 23, Saturday, to give way to the construction of the MRT-7. The 22-kilometer rail line aims to connect Quezon City to San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan.
The agency said San Miguel Corporation, the private partner for the MRT-7 project, also agreed to the weeklong postponement.
In requesting the postponement, the QC Council said it needed more time to clear road obstructions in the area.
Quezon City Councilor Ranulfo Ludovica said the decision to seek a postponement was reached after the city council met with officials from barangays that would be affected by the closure: Old Balara, Tandang Sora, Culiat and New Era.
Illegal jeepney and tricycle terminals and illegal vendors will be among those to be cleared, he said.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority said in an earlier interview that an elevated U-turn slot would help ease the expected heavy traffic in the area when the closure starts.