Day 1 of the Rockwell Bridge closure under weekday rush-hour conditions produced quite a sight. There were some winners and loads of losers as traffic had to find alternate routes across the river. We braved the evening traffic to bring you some first impressions of what things were like with the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge now closed to motor vehicles. All of the images you see here were taken between 6.30pm and 8pm tonight, January 21st.
The biggest winners of the night were without a doubt the residents of Rockwell Center. With cars unable to use the closed bridge, the posh residential area looked like a virtual ghost town. Where normally thousands of vehicles would crawl along in bumper-to-bumper traffic, roads lay eerily empty and residents got to enjoy a quiet evening with greatly reduced noise and air pollution.
Unfortunately, anyone trying to get home via JP Rizal or EDSA wasn’t quite as lucky, with increased traffic levels clearly visible. The lower portion of JP Rizal seemed extremely slow-moving, with road works in the area making things even worse.
EDSA appeared unusually busy for what was a pretty uneventful Monday in January, with the extra vehicular volume causing car movement to slow down even further. This seems like a bad omen for the many more months to come, during which commuters have to make do without the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge.
Based on this first weekday, it appears as if drivers will indeed be in for a rough ride until the new bridge is opened in 2021. We dread to think what a rainy payday Friday would now look like, but we also see this as an opportunity. If you get stressed out by traffic, then now might be the perfect time to park your car and try another method of transportation. Scooter or bicycle, anyone?