This is the next big thing in Southeast part of Metro Manila!
ABOUT LAGUNA LAKESHORE EXPRESSWAY
The Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike is a proposed expressway in the Philippines that will start from the coastal area of Laguna de Bay from Taguig in Metro Manila to Calamba and Los Baños in Laguna.
The project will involve the construction of a 47-kilometre-long (29 mi), six-lane dike including bridges, pumping stations and ancillary flood gates.
The project also involve reclamation of 700 hectares west of and abutting the expressway-dike, separated from the shoreline by a 100-150 meter channel in Taguig and Muntinlupa.
The project aims to provide a high-standard highway that will speed up traffic between the southern part of Metro Manila and Laguna, as well as a dike that would mitigate flooding in the western coastal communities along Laguna Lake.
The expressway will cost an estimated PHP36.74 billion or US$854.42 million. When constructed, it is expected to ease traffic congestion along Muntinlupa and Calamba area, and to serve as flood control measure for communities on the western shore of Laguna de Bay.
The route alignment starts from Bicutan, Taguig connecting to the proposed C-6 Expressway Road Project. It traverses southwards passing the city boundaries of Taguig, Parañaque and Muntinlupa in the southern part of Metro Manila and then continues further south passing the cities of San Pedro, Biñan, Santa Rosa, Cabuyao, Calamba and ends up at Los Baños in Laguna, near its boundary with Bay.
The construction of the expressway dike is proposed to involve two sections:
- from Bicutan to Calamba; and
- from Calamba to Los Baños.
The project details for the Expressway Dike as of October 2013 indicated plans for a 41.54-kilometre-long (25.81 mi), four-lane dike, but the official announcement of the approved project in June 2014 indicated that it would be 47-kilometre-long (29 mi), and have six-lanes.
PROPOSED EASTERN SHORE PROJECTS
While the expressway dike hopes to alleviate flooding on the southwestern shore of Laguna de Bay, officials and planners have acknowledged that there is still a need to cope with the excess water volume in the lake itself, with urban planner Felino Palafox describing the situation as "like having a toilet without a flush."
As the expressway dike would alleviate flooding in the more metropolitan western shore of the lake, similar projects have been proposed which would prevent the additional water volume from causing larger-scale flooding on the eastern shore, which includes the coastal towns of Rizal province and of eastern Laguna Province.
These projects include the construction of a "Pacific spillway" from the lake to the east coast of Luzon, which would drain excess water from the eastern part of the lake; and the construction of the revamped Laiban Dam and Kaliwa Low Dams in Tanay, Rizal, which is projected to reduce the water flowing into the northeastern portion of the lake.
However, construction of the Pacific Spillway has been identified by the DPWH as a low priority, while the construction of the Tanay dams has been controversial, such that only the construction of the Kaliwa Low Dam has been approved as of the second quarter of 2014.
August 2012 Monsoon Floods and Initial Conception
The idea of "a dike around Laguna" to serve as "a flood-control system meant to protect flood-prone areas along Laguna Lake" was first seriously raised in 2012, in reaction to the damage wrought by the 2012 Metro Manila Monsoon Floods. The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) was tasked to take on the project.
Proposed Project Financing
President Aquino also said in the vernacular that "the best part [of the road dike project] is that it can be self-financing, ", explaining that the dike may be financed through reclamation:
"Ang proposal nung proponent is dahil may mare-reclaim nga ang bayad sa kanila something like a third of the reclaimed area mababayaran na yung combination dike and road that will open up a lot of areas around Laguna leading to development." (The proposal of the propinent is that since there is reclamation to be done, the payment to them could just be something like a third of the reclaimed area. That would pay for the combination dike and road that will open up a lot of areas around Laguna leading to development.)
In an interview the following day, Nereus Acosta announced in another interview that the project fell under Public-Private-Partnership program for the C-6 Extension, while in another interview, Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson said the dike could be built under a "built-operate-transfer" scheme, meaning that the project would be financed and operated by a private agency for a period not exceeding 50 years, after which it would be taken over by the government.
May 2014 rejection due to environmental impact questions
The Expressway Dike Project was initially slated for approval by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) in its May 29, 2014 Board meeting, with the inter-agency Investment Coordination Committee of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA-ICC) endorsing the project for final approval by the board.
It was initially rejected at that meeting, however, when some of the board members had questions about some of the environmental and technical aspects of the project.
The DPWH later announced that it would make the "necessary clarification" regarding the project's environmental impact, specifying that concerns raised in the meeting had included "the height of the dike, the construction of water circulation, the separation between the low-lying communities and the new islands that would be created as part of the reclamation, the establishment of pumping stations, among others." The department indicated that they hoped to get final approval for the project and be able to bid the project out "toward the end of 2014 or in the first quarter of 2015"
June 2014 Approval
In June 2014, the Expressway Dike Project was finally green-lighted for implementation.
The NEDA board deferred on the project again during their June 2, 2014 meeting, requesting the DPWH to prepare and submit materials to be presented at the June 19 meeting, specifying the DPWH's responses to specific questions raised by the NEDA board.
The project was finally approved during the June 19, 2014 board meeting, in which the board also approved the operation and maintenance of the Bohol Airport and of Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental. At P123-billion, this made the Expressway Dike the biggest PPP project under the administration of President Aquino.
Public-Private Partnership Center Cosette Canilao told Reuters that the auction process "will start within the next quarter."
Construction of the expressway dike was then slated to begin in "late 2015" and to finish in 2021.
On July 28, 2014, President Aquino cited the expressway dike in his 5th State of the Nation Address as one of the infrastructure projects approved by his administration as part of its disaster preparedness efforts.