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MANILA, Philippines – Call it an eyesore or a piece of art, but the debate over the egg-shaped steel structure near the Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) will soon end. The egg-like installation will soon give way to an expressway.
The rotunda called Circulo del Mundo, including the controversial sculpture “Layag Islas” within it, will soon be demolished to give way to the NAIA Expressway, and to ease traffic jams in the area.
“Circulo del Mundo will be demolished,” Jose Angel Honrado, general manager of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), said Wednesday, November 12.
Honrado said that the expressway’s contractor informed him of the plan to remove the sculpture, and he said that he doesn’t mind.
Original plans for the expressway did not include the struture’s removal, but the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and project concessionaire Vertex Tollways made the decision to complete the project faster, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.
At present, the rotunda is causing gridlock in the area, particularly during peak hours at the airport terminal and the adjacent Resorts World Manila entertainment and casino complex.
The structure, which was completed in 2010, was supposed to showcase the Philippines’ top tourist destinations. It was part of the beautification project of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the MIAA.
It was built at a cost of P50 million, and the structure was based on a design selected in a nationwide competition in 2008.
The monument was supposed to be shaped like a womb and would mimic a lantern. Images of Philippine sights would be projected on what would be a skin covering it, Coconuts Manila wrote in a recent article.
The P15.86 billion NAIA Expressway, meanwhile, aims to link the 3 main terminals of the country’s main airport, as well as some casino and entertainment complexes being developed in the area.
San Miguel Corporation’s Optimal Development Infrastructure Incorporated won the bidding for the construction of the expressway back in April 2013.
Construction on the expressway, which will have both elevated and at-grade components and will stretch from the South Luzon Expressway/Skyway up to PAGCOR Entertainment City and the Manila-Cavite Tollway, has already commenced.
It was the second big-ticket infrastructure project that was successfully bid out under the Aquino government’s flagship Public Private Partnership (PPP) scheme.
NAIA Expressway is scheduled to be completed in 2016. – Rappler.com