Tuesday, October 26, 2021
HomeEconomySan Miguel, gov’t ink P95B Pasig River Expressway deal

San Miguel, gov’t ink P95B Pasig River Expressway deal

  • The government has approved the P95-billion 19.37-km Pasig River Expressway (PAREX) project
  • PAREX will connect Manila with the province of Rizal through a six-lane elevated expressway traversing the entire Pasig River
  • It will run from Radial Road 10 in the City of Manila to C-6 road and will have three segments
  • The elevated expressway will integrate various modes of transportation beyond cars such as dedicated bike lanes, walkways, a bus rapid transit system

The government has given the green light to the 19.37-kilometer Pasig River Expressway (PAREX) project that will connect Manila with the province of Rizal through a six-lane elevated expressway that will traverse the entire Pasig River.

The supplemental toll operations agreement (STOA) for the project was signed on September 21, more than a year after the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) in June 2020 approved to have the proposed project declared as a toll road.

The STOA was signed by TRB, Department of Transportation, Department of Public Works, Philippine National Construction Corp., Pasig River Expressway Corp. (PREC), and Skyway O&M Corp.

PAREX will run from Radial Road 10 (R-10) in the City of Manila to C-6 road, which is also known as the future South East Metro Manila Expressway (SEMME) in Taguig, according to a statement by San Miguel Corp. (SMC), the parent firm of PREC and Skyway O&M.

PAREX is seen as the first privately funded road network in the country to combine sustainability features with the functionality of a safe and efficient transport infrastructure.

“This will be an inclusive, user-centered infrastructure that will integrate various modes of transportation beyond cars. It will have dedicated bike lanes, walkways, a bus rapid transit system, among others,” according to SMC president Ramon Ang, who is also chairman and president of PREC.

SMC will fully shoulder the P95-billion cost of building PAREX, with no taxpayer or government money used, the company said.

SMC’s P2-billion Pasig River rehabilitation initiative will also expand water transport through the use of ferry boats and link cities along the waterfronts of Metro Manila—including Laguna Lake, Pasig River, Manila Bay, and Marikina River, among others.

SMC’s Pasig River cleanup project, launched last June, is a five-year initiative that aims to remove some three million metric tons of silt and solid waste from the river.

During the signing, Ang disclosed that SMC is tapping the firm of internationally renowned architect and green urbanism advocate Felino Palafox, Jr. to help build PAREX.

“PAREX will also be for pedestrians and cyclists. It will not just be for motorized transportation and convenience, but also for maintaining our health and well-being. It will not just ‘beautify’ the surroundings—it will rehabilitate the Pasig River and inspire urban renewal in Metro Manila,” Ang said.

PAREX will have three major segments—Segment 1 is from R-10 to Plaza Azul, Manila; Segment 2 from Pandacan to C-5, and Segment 3 from C-5 to C-6.

PAREX will also connect to, and utilize a 2.7-km portion of, the new Skyway Stage 3 from Nagtahan to Plaza Azul.

Ang said PAREX will finally complete the long-envisioned north-south-east-west expressway connectivity for the region. The project will be completed within five years.

Once operational, PAREX will serve as the east-west connection, linking up with Skyway 3 and SEMME making virtually every major city in Metro Manila accessible via expressway.

With PAREX offering a faster way to drive or commute around Metro Manila, Ang said the project can fulfill one of its major environmental goals—lowering the amount of harmful emissions released into the air when vehicles are stuck for hours in heavy traffic.

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