The country’s biggest train station is poised for completion in December this year, linking major railway systems in Metro Manila.
The Department of Transportation said on Monday the facility known as the common station project, located on North Avenue in Quezon City, has reached a completion rate of just under 50 percent.
“This is a long overdue transport infrastructure project that would have considerably eased mobility of commuters in Metro Manila, particularly along the main transit routes, from Baclaran to Monumento to the entire length of EDSA,” the DOTr said.
The project was designed to be a common hub for the Metro Rail Transit Line 3, Light Rail Transit Line 1 and the eventual MRT-7 and Metro Manila subway lines.
Those railway systems serve various points in Metro Manila as well as the provinces of Cavite and Bulacan.
The completion date, earlier set during the first quarter of this year, was moved due to delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The DOTr said remaining construction activities were being accelerated and “work is done 24/7.”
The DOTr said the common station would have a 13,700-square meter concourse area where passengers could transfer between railway systems.
Delayed for years, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade played a key role in brokering an agreement among stakeholders in 2017, allowing the construction of the common station to proceed.
A major dispute involved the location of the project. Originally planned in front of SM City North Edsa Annex, transportation regulators during President Benigno Aquino III’s term decided to move the project to an area near Ayala Land Inc.’s Trinoma shopping mall.
This violated prior agreements and prompted mall operator SM Prime Holdings to sue the government for breach of contract in 2014.
Under the current administration, a compromise location was chosen in between Trinoma and SM City North EDSA.
The LRT-1 and MRT-3 are presently operating. San Miguel Corp.’s MRT-7, which will run from Quezon City to Bulacan, is expected to open in December 2022 while the government subway project, from Quezon City to Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport, will be finished by 2025.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.