ADB approves $123-million loan for EDSA elevated walkways

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Monday, December 14, approved a $123-million (around P6 billion) loan for the construction of elevated and covered walkways along EDSA.

The EDSA Greenways Project would have walkways connected to 4 mass transit stations along EDSA, particularly the Balintawak, Cubao, Guadalupe, and Taft stations. The walkways would have a total length of 5 kilometers.

The project, which is among President Rodrigo Duterte's big-ticket infrastructure projects, would be equipped with elevators and monitoring systems. It promises to be inclusive for persons with disabilities and the elderly. (READ: LIST: Duterte's new and shelved infrastructure projects)

"This project will encourage more Filipinos to switch from private vehicles to public transport, which is being strengthened with the North–South Commuter Railway, the Metro Manila Subway, and the upgraded Light Rail/Metro Rail Transit systems," said ADB Senior Transport Specialist for Southeast Asia Shuji Kimura.

"The project, to be built with cutting-edge technology for cantilever overhead walkways, will provide safe, inclusive, and equitable access for commuters while lowering CO2 emissions," added Kimura.

The project is also part of the government's push to shore up the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic, as it is expected to create jobs during the construction period. (READ: Philippines plans to build its way out of pandemic)

Around $61 million (P3 billion) will be spent for local raw materials. Civil works contracts are expected to be awarded during the 1st half of 2021.

Duterte's economic team initially pegged the project cost at around P9.7 billion.

ADB data showed that Metro Manila is the most congested city in Asia in terms of population, land area, and length of road networks.

Annual average daily traffic on EDSA reached 405,882 vehicles in 2019, 6% higher than in 2018, according to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority. – Rappler.com

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.

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