Construction on the first phase of a 36km underground railway project in Metro Manila began on Wednesday that expects to tackle the Philippine capital’s severe gridlock.
The first phase of the mega-infrastructure project will run north-south through the country’s largest metropolis, and is projected to be partially operational by 2022, Kyodo News reported.
The initial phase, undertaken by consortiums of mostly Japanese companies, is estimated to cost 355 billion pesos (US$6.86 billion), which is largely funded through loans from the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
The total subway network is expected to stretch from Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City in the north to Ninoy Aquino airport in Paranaque City in the south. When fully operational by 2025, it will have 15 stations and 19 eight-car trains that will serve an estimated 370,000 commuters per day.
The project is being supervised by a consortium of six Japanese firms, including Oriental Consultants Global Co and Tokyo Metro Co.
Another consortium involving Shimizu Corp, Fujita Corp, Takenaka Civil Engineering Co and EEI Corp is responsible for designing and building the subway's first three stations, tunnel structures and a depot.