MANILA - The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) on Thursday said EDSA, one of Metro Manila's major thoroughfares, needs to be rehabilitated soonest or it would further deteriorate, leaving motorists to face either worse traffic jams or to scramble for alternate routes.
DPWH Undersecretary Karen Jimeno said the state of EDSA is so bad that it has failed international standards for a national highway and should therefore be repaired and rehabilitated.
What's holding back the agency from closing down the main avenue for repairs, she said, is the massive traffic jam that would ensue if the agency implements its road reblocking project on both sides of the entire stretch of EDSA.
The 23.8-km avenue is a key north-south link in the metro, cutting across several cities from Pasay to Caloocan.
“Can you imagine, sa ngayon pa lang lagi nang traffic ang EDSA so kung ayusin pa natin 'yan ngayon, lalo tayong makakaabala sa ating mga kababayan. Kung bawasan mo ‘yan kahit isang lane lang, grabe yung magiging traffic,” she said.
Jimeno said EDSA should still be good for another five years but, at the rate of increase in vehicle volume recorded every day, the avenue may one day be unusable and pose hazards to motorists.
She said the agency is currently in talks with the Department of Transportation and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority to craft the best rehabilitation or reblocking traffic management plan and mass transport alternatives for motorists.
The problem needs to be addressed soon, she added. Otherwise, EDSA may just one day be totally closed for repairs.
Jimeno said the DPWH is 92 percent done with fixing potholes that emerged on roads around Metro Manila after Typhoon Gorio's onslaught last month.
Out of more than 100 roads that were damaged, Jimeno said only 8 remain to be completely fixed.