A Flood Control System Tunnel: Is This the Solution for the EDSA Traffic Nightmare?
by Anne Marielle Eugenio, October 26, 2019 8:48pm
Art by Dani Elevazo
We couldn’t bear the fact we had to leave home at 5:00 am just to make it to the office at 8:00 am. If we don’t leave early, we’ll surely experience the hellish rush hour traffic. Commuters complain about the EDSA traffic that gets worse day by day. This leaves us thinking, will this problem ever be solved?
As a solution to the traffic (and complaints), Pasig City Representative Roman Romulo proposed a dual-purpose channel beneath EDSA, just like Kuala Lumpur’s Stormwater Management And Road Tunnel, or Smart Tunnel.
“Smart is basically a four-kilometer motorway and 9.7-kilometer flood control system in one,” he said.
The lawmaker explained its no longer practical to do road widening in EDSA. It leaves the government with two options: build an elevated road above and alongside the Metro Manila Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3), or build a new way below the highway.
As proposed by Romulo, this tunnel will be useful, especially during the rainy season. During a light rainfall, the lower bypass channel can be a landing place of floodwaters while the upper section remains open as a motorway.
In case of heavy rainfall, even the upper section will be closed to all vehicles and its water-tight automated doors will be opened to divert waters. After the flood, pressure-washing will make sure tunnels are clean.
There’s no estimate on how much the construction will cost. But if we will base on Malaysia’s Smart Tunnel, the government will spend about 515 million USD. According to San Miguel Corporation President Ramon Ang, the project will be finished in 24 to 30 months once the administration approves.
If Smart Tunnel is really the solution for the Manila traffic, then it will be a relief for every commuter. Metro Manila experience will be more fun when we spend less time in traffic and more time and appreciating it.