Government engineering measure improves MacArthur traffic flow and safety

A February 22, 2013, press release from the Department of Public Works and Highways

Traffic conditions of 67 critical intersections along Manila North Road from Meycauayan, Bulacan to San Manuel Tarlac were improved following the completion of traffic engineering and management project of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

The improvement of Manila North Road commonly called as MacArthur Highway is a result of a multiyear traffic management program activities of the DPWH  through the Traffic Engineering and Management-Project Management Office aimed not only at improving traffic condition but also to enhance road safety along this road, which is considered to be a major arterial thoroughfare leading to and from Metro Manila.

Movement of vehicles has significantly improved with the signalization of 53 intersections while 14 intersections underwent geometric improvement.

Secretary Rogelio L. Singson said three approaches were made by the department in the improvement of MacArthur Highway, a heritage highway leading to notable tourism destinations in the north.

First approach is for road capacity improvement measures, which include road paving, rehabilitation, upgrading, and widening of the road sections up to the existing road right-of-way (ROW) limit aimed at increasing the number of lanes from the existing two lanes (one lane per direction) to four lanes (two lanes per direction).

Existing drainage system along MNR was removed and replaced by a concrete line canal system at the outer ROW limit with canal cover designed to serve as the concrete sidewalk.

The second approach calls for some doable traffic management measures, which include intersection geometric improvements, construction of concrete sidewalk, curb and gutters, disabled ramps and channelization islands designed to improve the level of service and safety at critical intersections.

It also involves the provision of designated pedestrian lanes, loading/unloading zones, and stop lines supplemented by the standard road signs and pavement markings aimed at regulating and segregating traffic movements and potential conflicts.

The third approach is the provision of state-of-the-art traffic signal facilities and equipment designed to provide orderly and systematic movements at intersections.

The traffic controllers are based on microprocessor technology capable of handling complex traffic signal algorithms in real-time and fully-adaptive mode utilizing stop line vehicle detectors per lane and pedestrian pushbuttons to allow green time adjustments in accordance with current demand. DPWH used Light-Emitting-Diode (LED) technology for the signal heads/lanterns which is capable of providing the required luminous intensity with about 80% reduction in power consumption cost as compared to the conventional incandescent bulb traffic signal heads.

In 2012, the DPWH was able to provide geometric improvements at nine intersections between the municipalities of Capas and San Manuel in Tarlac including 4.80 kilometers of road paved, constructed 865 linear meters of concrete sidewalks with curb and gutter, constructed 64 units of accessibility ramps for persons with disability, and improved the intersection design of three junctions with channelization techniques.

Also, four intersections were signalized and three junctions were equipped with traffic signal flashers. To complement the traffic management schemes, within the 150-meter limit from the intersection, about 115 road signs were installed, and pavement markings were provided.