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Tunneling operations for the first contract package (CP) of the 33 km Metro Manila Subway kicked off on Monday after the deployment of the tunnel boring machine (TBM) at its train depot located in Ugong, Valenzuela City.

At the launch, Department of Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said that Metro Manila Subway project has passed the ‘point of no return’ for construction of the country’s first subway. Bautista also added that the subway is an urgent need for Filipinos in Metro Manila, following the recent holiday travel rush encountered by airports in Metro Manila.

“Today’s start of tunneling work signifies a point of no return. We are going full speed ahead to complete the country’s first subway,”
Manila Subway TBM

The coverage of Contract Package 101 includes the construction of a train depot in Ugong, Valenzuela, and the following stations, Quezon Highway station, Tandang Sora station, and North Avenue station. The first phase of construction was awarded back in 2019 to the joint venture of Shimizu Corp., Fujita Corp., Takenaka Civil Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd., and EEI Corp.

According to Kazuya Osako, chair of the joint venture entity, six TBMs will be operating for this portion of the project, he also added that each tunnel would be completed in 12 months' time.

The Department of Transportation says that the six TBMs will help excavate more than 1.2 million cubic meters of soil during the subway’s construction, equivalent to around 2,500 Olympic-size swimming pools.

Overall, the Metro Manila Subway is expected to be operational by 2028 and will run a total length of 33 km and include 17 stations, it has also been dubbed the “crown jewel” of the rail sector according to Bautista. The total budget for the subway project is P488.47 billion, once fully operational, it is expected to be able to service 519,000 passengers daily.

Upon its construction, the subway system will be running at an operational speed of 80 kph, Filipinos may soon be able to travel from Quezon City to NAIA in just 35 minutes rather than the current one hour and 10 minutes. 

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