Poe urges gov’t to reconsider 30-month closure of Estrella-Pantaleon bridge

(Eagle News)—Senator Grace Poe on Friday, Jan. 11, urged the government to reconsider its 30-month closure of the Estrella-Pantaleon bridge.

According to Poe, some 500,000 motorists will be inconvenienced by the closure, which the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority said would start on Saturday, Jan. 19.

The senator also noted  the project contractor, China Communications and Construction Corp., was “banned by the World Bank in 2009 for anomalies related to several multi-billion-peso Philippine road projects it had funded.”

“This is a case of a bridge we may not need, whose construction will inconvenience many for a long time, and is being built by a company who after being banned by the World Bank for bungling a road project here became part of the massive land reclamation in the West Philippine Sea,” Poe said.

According to Poe, if the roads “will not be widened then why replace a relatively new bridge with one that is four times its price?”

Poe said the existing bridge costs P300 million, while the new bridge to be built will cost P1.3 billion price tag.

“Ang isa pang issue ay ang kawalan ng alternatibong daanan habang ginagawa ang bagong tulay. This is a major link through which 100,000 vehicles pass daily. Close it and it will worsen the situation in that parking lot called EDSA,” Poe said.

“Hindi naman po tayo anti-development. Ang gusto lang natin maayos at hindi makakasama sa atin. ‘Yung hindi donor-driven, may people’s consultation, at sapat ang feasibility study,” Poe added.