Builder of Malaysia’s SMART Tunnel wants to bring infra to PH

Chrisee Dela Paz
Builder of Malaysia’s SMART Tunnel wants to bring infra to PH


The proposed SMART Manila addresses two major problems in Metro Manila – flooding and traffic

MANILA, Philippines — AlloyMTD Group of Malaysia, through its local unit MTD Philippines, Incorporated, wants to build a P40-billion road tunnel that can turn into a storm drainage under the state-run Philippine National Railways (PNR) tracks.

“We are interested to add value to MPIC’s (Metro Pacific Investments Corporation) NLEX (North Luzon Expressway)-SLEX (South Luzon Expressway) Connector Road project. We want a below-ground tunnel, so it will have 3 levels,” MTD Philippines president Isaac David told Rappler on the sidelines of an event in Makati City on Friday, April 8.

According to David, the proposed infrastructure will be similar to what they had built in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel or SMART tunnel.

“We’ve already talked to MPIC on the use of the right-of-way of PNR to make a tunnel detention and they are excited about it,” David said.

“PNR alignment is the best location for this because the biggest risk, which is right of way, is negated,” David added.

Calling it SMART Manila, David said his construction firm’s proposal will have openings that permit waterways to enter it, be diverted away from the city, and convert it to potable water.  

An early warning system closes the tunnel to vehicular traffic before water is allowed to flow into it. During the dry season, the tunnel is expected to reduce traffic in Metro Manila.

This project would follow the design concept of SMART Tunnel in Kuala Lumpur, which is said to be calculated to take in enough water from 6 days of rain.

As it began operation, the tunnel has prevented catastrophic flash floods, ending a serious problem that has beset Kuala Lumpur residents.

Citing huge investments for the infrastructure proposal, David said it has never been a problem for AlloyMTD to finance such big contracts, as it is used to long-term financial conditions. Its funds come from the operations of 15 different countries.

“We are able to manage our funds, but in the Philippines we only provide an equity portion. We foresee about a part of the cost of the projects being funded by the company, while some will be financed by banks,” the MTD Philippines president said.

Malaysia-based AlloyMTD is an infrastructure and construction group with operations in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, the US, the UK, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Chile, and China.

Meanwhile, the Department of Public Works and Highways has finally opened  the door for companies that want to match MPIC’s NLEX-SLEX Connector Road unsolicited proposal.

MPIC’s original unsolicited proposal involved a 13.5-kilometer elevated road that will connect North and South Luzon expressways, including a 5-kilometer common alignment from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines to Buendia Avenue in Makati City. –

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