MANILA, Philippines – Construction of the common station to link Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1) and Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Lines 3 and 7 is expected to start in December this year and be completed by April 2019.
This came after the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and concerned parties signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) yesterday to end a deadlock spanning nearly eight years.
The agreement was signed by Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade and Public Works Secretary Mark Villar with LRT Authority administrator Reynaldo Berroya, SM Prime Holdings Inc. (SMPHI) executive chairman Hans Sy, Light Rail Manila Corp. vice chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan, San Miguel Corp. (SMC) president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang and North Triangle Depot Commercial Corp. (NTDCC) represented by Ayala Land Inc. vice chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala.
The MOA is a result of the discussions made after the signing of the parties last Sept. 28 of a term sheet which identified the location of the common station.
Covering 13,700-square meters, the common station would be located between SM North EDSA and Trinoma malls in the vicinity of EDSA and North Avenue.
The common station has three components, mainly Area A which costs P2.8 billion and covers the platform and concourse for LRT-1 and MRT-3, to be financed and built by the DOTr.
Ayala and partners in NTDCC will be funding Area B, or the portion connecting Areas A and C.
As for Area C or where the platform for the MRT-7 is located, SMC would undertake construction as well as shoulder the costs.
For its part, the DPWH will build an underpass along EDSA at the part where the common station will be built.
The common station is expected to connect LRT-1 covering Roosevelt station in Quezon City up to Baclaran station in Pasay City, the MRT-3 running from North Avenue station in Quezon City until Taft Avenue station in Pasay City, and the MRT-7 which would span North Avenue in Quezon City up to San Jose del Monte City in Bulacan.
Following the signing of the MOA, a detailed engineering design for the common station would be developed.
Given a temporary restraining order (TRO) obtained by SMPHI from the Supreme Court in 2014 to prevent then Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) under the previous administration from transferring the location of the common station near Trinoma from in front of SM North EDSA, the parties have agreed to file an appeal for the dismissal of the case to allow the construction of the common station.
SMPHI sought a TRO against the DOTC as it had entered into an agreement with LRTA in 2009 to put up the common station in front of SM North EDSA mall.
It also secured naming rights for the common station following its payment of P200 million.
As for the naming rights, both “SM” and “Trinoma” will be part of the name of the common station as agreed.
“In two years, you can expect a common station, barring unforeseen circumstances,” Tugade said.