It's final: Rockwell Bridge two-year closure set on January 19

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 11) — The 30-month closure and reconstruction of the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge is finally pushing through after a few delays.

MMDA on Friday said the closure of the bridge, also known as the Rockwell Bridge, will push through on January 19, 4am.

"Definite na ito. Wala nang atrasan," MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia said in a media briefing.

MMDA initially announced that the reconstruction will start on January 12. Prior to that, it was closed for two days in September 2018, but was reopened after DPWH decided to defer the expansion until after the Christmas season.

Repairs and widening of the bridge, which connects Estrella Street in Makati and Barangka Drive in Mandaluyong, will last until the first quarter of 2021.

From a 9-minute trip through the bridge, Garcia said it may take motorists 30 minutes to one hour to get past the area. Despite the estimated 120,000 vehicles that will be affected daily once construction begins, he said it is necessary to widen and reconstruct the bridge.

"Matibay pero hindi designed for highly-urbanized city. We can't compromise safety over traffic," he said.

The Department of Public Works and Highways said the closure will not only turn the two-lane bridge into a four-lane one, they are also strengthening the bridge to make sure it can withstand a strong earthquake.

DPWH Engineer Virgilio Castillo also said Mandaluyong is funding the widening of the landing roads in the Pantaleon area.

Funded by China, the reconstruction of the bridge costs P1.4 billion.