THE DEPARTMENT of Transportation (DoTr) has sealed the design and build contract for the first three stations of the Metro Manila Subway Project, which is scheduled to break ground on Wednesday, Feb. 27.
In a statement on Sunday, the department said it signed last week the deal for the first phase of the project with the Shimizu Joint Venture, which is composed of Shimizu Corp., Fujita Corp., Takenaka Civil Engineering Company Ltd. and EEI Corp. “The Shimizu Joint Venture will be pursuing the design and build of the subway’s partial operability section, which consists of its first three underground stations (Quirino Highway, Tandang Sora and North Avenue), tunnel structures, the Valenzuela depot, and the building and facilities for the Philippine Railway Institute,” it said.
On their Web sites, members of the group said they’ve been involved in several transportation projects, such as stations for the Tokyo subway line in Japan for Fujita as well as the Metro Rail Transit and Light Rail Transit in the Philippines for EEI.
Last week, DoTr officials went to Osaka, Japan to inspect the tunnel boring machines which will be used for construction of the subway. Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade had said that he wanted the boring machines at the groundbreaking ceremony, “para makita ng mga tao na ito totohanan na ‘to [so people will see that the project will go ahead].”
While the public will have to wait till 2025 for full operations of the 36-kilometer subway, the government targets partial operations — covering the first three stations — in three years.
The completed system will have 14 stations from Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City, making for a 40-minute ride from end to end. It will also have a provision for a 5-kilometer extension and two additional stations to eventually link to LRT-1. The DoTr said it also wants to connect the Metro Manila Subway to the common station being built on North Avenue, Quezon City and to the Makati City Subway.
Last March, the governments of the Philippines and Japan signed the first tranche of the P355.6-billion loan for the Metro Manila Subway Project. — Denise A. Valdez