Ayala Bridge completely closed March 21 to April 20

(CNN Philippines) — Thousands of motorists are expected to bear the brunt of gridlocks caused by the ongoing repair and closure of the Ayala Bridge in Manila beginning Saturday (March 21).

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) estimated that around 34,400 vehicles take the bridge daily.

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said on Friday (March 20) that the bridge will be completely closed for a month — from March 21 to April 20 — and added that motorists take alternate routes in the meantime.

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Tolentino identified the areas to be affected, namely: Quezon Boulevard, U.N. Avenue, Taft Avenue, Legarda, Quirino, Recto, Magsaysay, and Roxas Boulevard.

After one month, the bridge will be partially opened to motorists — with the eastbound lane closed from April 21 to June 14, and the westbound lane closed from June 15 to July 20.

The project was scheduled for completion by July 23.

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A report from the Philippines News Agency identified the following alternate routes for motorists:

  • Northbound vehicles can take Romualdez St., left to Ayala Blvd., right to Taft Ave., and take Quezon Bridge or Jones Bridge
  • Vehicles coming from Roxas Blvd. and Taft Ave. should take Quezon or Jones Bridge toward Quezon Blvd.
  • For southbound (via Otis or President Quirino Avenue) vehicles coming from Magsaysay Blvd., Legarda St. and Lacson Ave., they may take Nagtahan/Mabini Bridge, right at M. Guazon St. (Otis), straight to U.N. Ave.
  • Vehicles from Magsaysay Blvd., Legarda St., and Lacson Ave. can take Nagtahan/Mabini Bridge straight to President Quirino (vice versa)
  • Those coming from P. Casal St., can turn right at Carlos Palanca St. toward MacArthur Bridge

Built in 1872, the Ayala Bridge was initially made of wood but was reconstructed in steel in 1908. It was the first steel bridge in the Philippines.

CNN Philippines' Patricia De Leon contributed to this story.