New Otis Bridge now passable

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Ahead of schedule The Otis Bridge, originally set to reopen in February, was cleared for the passage of light vehicles yesterday to the applause of motorists and commuters. BOB DUNGO JR.

Motorists and pedestrians in Metro Manila can once again the use Otis Bridge in Paco, Manila following its formal reopening yesterday by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

After over five months of rehabilitation, the reopening of Otis was expected to ease traffic brought about by the holiday rush.

DPWH Secretary Mark Villar expressed elation they finished refurbishing the bridge ahead of schedule, describing it as a “Christmas gift” to the public.

Otis Bridge, which spans Estero de Paco near Malacañang Park, was ordered closed last June after it was declared unsafe for use with damage it progressively sustained from the passage of heavy trucks through the years.

The bridge was built in 2015 to replace another one constructed in 1968. The replacement of the bridge this year had a budget of P33 million.

The Otis Bridge project was originally slated for completion in February next year, but Villar ordered the fast-tracking of its construction.

“The newly-reconstructed Otis Bridge has been widened from four lanes to six lanes. Its maximum allowable weight was also increased from 15 to 20 tons to accommodate more motorists in the area,” Villar said.

With its completion, the 23-linear meter Otis Bridge and its 172-linear meter approach on both sides are expected to minimize traffic congestion along Osmeña Highway, Quirino Avenue and United Nations Avenue.

The bridge will serve vehicles traversing south to north Manila, as well as the cities of Quezon, Caloocan and Mandaluyong.

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