THE GOVERNMENT has started seeking bidders for a P1.80-billion design-and-build contract to relocate track on the Solis-Sucat segment of the North South Commuter Railway Extension (NSCR-EX) project.

The contract will involve works along the segment including pocket tracks, stations, box culverts, and other civil works.

“Bids must be received by the Bids and Awards Committee on or before Aug. 18 this year,” Philippine National Railways (PNR) Bids and Awards Committee Chair Celeste D. Lauta said in the bid invitation posted on the PNR website.

The procuring entity will award a single contract for the engineering design and construction to a single company, partnership, corporation, joint venture or consortium.

According to the PNR, the proposed NSCR-EX project addresses the deteriorating public transport system and the rapid urbanization of Metro Manila and neighboring provinces, ultimately providing more convenient connectivity for commuters in and out of Metro Manila.

The double-track segment runs between Solis Station in the city of Manila to Calamba, Laguna.

“The project will be approximately 56.5 kilometers using the existing right of way of the PNR and will run on mostly elevated railway viaduct structures that will implement standard gauge track,” it added.

The existing PNR line will be relocated to a single track to give way and implement the new NSCR-EX project.

“Before the actual NSCR EX project works commence… most of the existing PNR tracks servicing south of Solis Station must be shifted/relocated, and an operations strategy shall be developed during construction,” it said. — Arjay L. Balinbin