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LRT-2 extension still on target

Maria Romero

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The $62-million East Extension of the Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT-2) that will stretch the train service to Antipolo City is on track to be completed by year’s end despite the disruption caused by the quarantine period, the Light Rail Transit Administration (LRTA) said.

In a Laging Handa briefing on Tuesday, LRTA spokesman Hernando Cabrera said the extension is set to be operational by the first quarter of 2021.

“(With the current progress of the project,) it will be ready for use by first quarter next year,” Cabrera said.

The four-kilometer LRT-2 extension will feature two stations after the existing Santolan Station—Emerald Station, which lies along Marcos Highway and adjacent to the Gil Fernando and Felix Avenues and the Masinag Station, situated near Sumulong Highway in Antipolo City.

80-K more passengers

West-bound commuters from Antipolo, Marikina and other parts of Rizal province currently take jeepneys or shuttles to LRT-2’s Santolan Station. This and the LRT-2 extension’s construction has contributed to traffic congestion along Marcos Highway.

According to the Department of Transportation (DoTr), the East Extension is anticipated to add 80,000 passengers to the LRT-2’s current 240,000 daily ridership. LRT-2 currently connects Recto Avenue in Manila to Santolan in Marikina.

It will also reduce travel time from Recto to Masinag to 40 minutes compared to the three hours bus or jeepney.

3rd phase

The DoTr last February 2019 awarded the contract to the joint venture between Japan-based firm Marubeni Corp and DM Consunji Inc. (DMCI) for the installation of track works and electromechanical system (EMS), which formed Package 3 of the LRT East Extension Project.

Package 1, which involves the construction of a viaduct, was completed in March 2017, while Package 2 involved the construction of Emerald and Masinag stations.

Meanwhile, Cabrera disclosed that the resumption of operations at Santolan, Katipunan, and Anonas LRT-2 stations was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Operations at the three stations were originally due to resume next month but power system repairs were disrupted by the virus lockdown.

It can be recalled that LRTA, which operates LRT-2, terminated the operations of the three stations after a fire in October last year.

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