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Philippine expressway system

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I know there's an older thread about the Philippine toll expressways - - but decided to start a new one as I was in the country for 11 days in late December and early January and wanted to focus more on the numerous ongoing construction projects, particularly in Metro Manila.

I'll post more on the individual roads in a bit, but here's my photo albums from the trip:


North Luzon Expressway

North Luzon West Expressway project: SCTEX and TPLEX

Metro Manila Skyway/South Luzon Expressway:

As a bit of a primer, I've found a map at the SkyscraperCity forums of Manila showing the Metro Manila Skyway extension and the North Luzon Expressway Harbor Link project, both of which are actively under construction and will provide the region with their first ever through freeway connections:

The DPWH introduced expressway numbering in 2014. For example E1 is the North Luzon Expressway. Did you see any of those route numbers signed?


--- Quote from: Chris on January 05, 2017, 12:25:51 PM ---The DPWH introduced expressway numbering in 2014. For example E1 is the North Luzon Expressway. Did you see any of those route numbers signed?[/img]

--- End quote ---

I saw maybe one sign for a Route 68 on local roads south of Manila.  Otherwise, nope, it's primarily expressway names (i.e. SCTEX, NLEX).

Wonder if this will change once the North Luzon West Expressway project is complete (which is essentially the SCTEX and TPLEX as one road) and when the following two projects are finished on NLEX: north extension for a more direct connection with it, and south extension through Manila on the Harbor Link.  I could see the SLEX/Metro Manila Skyway/NLEX being one route number (maybe with the Harbor Link having a separate number to represent being an alternate route in Manila) and the North Luzon West Expressway being another.

The Harbor Link and the Mero Manila Skyway Stage 3 create a parallel setup that is like a smaller scale version of the Hollywood/Golden State pair in Los Angeles (or 670 and 70 in Kansas City).  EDSA (kinda like New Jersey's Route 17 on steroids) has been severely overridden with traffic for years due to the lack of such a through limited-access route, something that will change dramatically in the coming months.

EDSA.  Here's an analogy to describe its current (pre-2017/2018) role in the Manila highway network.

Imagine say a large enough city, like San Francisco.  Imagine if the Freeway Revolt had been more extensive, and there was no Bayshore Freeway or Southern Freeway whatsoever, with 280 ending at 19th Avenue and the Bayshore Freeway ending in Brisbane or whatever.  And in this imaginary scenario, only 19th Avenue provided the access to either bridge.

So that's kinda like EDSA but that doesn't really give you the scope of it.  The city that the ring road runs through - Quezon City, the one-time Filipino capital from the 1940s to 1976 - actually has more people than Manila itself, with a population of 2.9 million - almost as much as Chicago!  Manila on the other hand "only" has 1.7 million (twice as many people as San Francisco, and larger than San Diego as well) a 16-square-mile landmass.  EDSA also skirts Makati, the most modern downtown in the entire country.

It's not hard to see why this has become the main street of the region, a role it had never been intended to take on.  Older-generation interchanges, business driveways on every block, interregional traffic, and the usual stop-and-go patterns of the jeepneys along the route are compounded by multiple large malls (especially SM EDSA North in Quezon City, but also the massive Mall of Asia at the road's south terminus) as traffic generators.

DSC_5199 by Chris Sampang, on Flickr
Overhead signage.  "Ayala" is the exit to Makati's Ayala Center area, comprising of a popular local park and the Greenbelt and Glorietta mall complexes.  Also note the advertising right on the median!

DSC_5209 by Chris Sampang, on Flickr
H&M store from the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong.  The overhead structures are for the MRT-3 mass transit rail line.

DSC_5216 by Chris Sampang, on Flickr
Traffic on Christmas Eve morning.

DSC_5219 by Chris Sampang, on Flickr
Advertising on a VMS.

DSC_5232 by Chris Sampang, on Flickr
The intersection with North Avenue, where SM City EDSA North mall is located.

DSC_6247 by Chris Sampang, on Flickr
Signage heading away from the North Luzon Expressway - note again the lack of road names on the overheads, only destinations.

DSC_7377 by Chris Sampang, on Flickr
Westbound grade separation in Makati

DSC_7379 by Chris Sampang, on Flickr
Offramp in Pasay which connects EDSA to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport

DSC_7420 by Chris Sampang, on Flickr
Signage commemorating Japanese assistance on an interchange in Makati

DSC_7678 by Chris Sampang, on Flickr
Offramp at the Magallanes Interchange which links EDSA and the South Luzon Expressway

The North Luzon Expressway, connecting Metro Manila with Angeles.  Currently slated to be extended further south into Manila with the Harbor Link project.

DSC_5237 by Chris Sampang, on Flickr
Advertising on an overpass!

DSC_6232 by Chris Sampang, on Flickr
DSC_6234 by Chris Sampang, on Flickr
Examples of actual exit numbering

DSC_6242 by Chris Sampang, on Flickr
Approaching the interchange with EDSA in Balintawak.  This is the future north terminus of the Metro Manila Skyway stage 3 project.


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