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Ortigas eyes P300 million to enhance river flow

Written by  Tribune
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 00:00 [ tribune.net.ph ]

Premiere property developer Ortigas and Co. is spending P300-million for a 1.5-kilometer river protection system around its Circulo Verde residential project that would also help increase the carrying capacity of the Marikina River.

The completion of the wall is set on June 2013.

Circulo Verde is a 12-hectare residential development at the heart of Quezon City that will have a total of 15 towers and 70 percent open space for recreation.

The river protection wall, according to Ortigas and Co. senior vice president and general manager for Real Estate Joey Santos, will increase the average width of the river around Circulo Verde by 43 percent from 46.3 meters to 66.3 meters.

“The narrowest width will increase to 50 meters from 19 meters, a 163 percent increase in width and at the widest will increase to 105 meters from 84 meters, a 25 percent increase. More importantly, the river will also deepen by 20 meters, more than doubling its current carrying capacity. In all, we will be dredging 25,000 cubic meters of silt, equivalent to 1,500 truckloads,” Santos added.

Once completed, the river wall will permanently stop erosion at the river banks around the area of the property, Santos explained. Engineering design firm DCCD Engineering, which was commissioned by Ortigas and Co. to conduct a flood and hydraulics study for the Circulo Verde project, confirmed that Marikina River’s carrying capacity had greatly diminished.

“We found that through time, due to the accumulation of silt or burak on the river bed, the river has become shallow and its carrying capacity has been significantly reduced. This explains why people can walk across certain parts of the Marikina River during the dry season and why it is susceptible to overflows. In addition, soil naturally erodes on riverbanks in the absence of man-made protection systems like a wall,” engineer Ben Galang of DCCD Engineering said.

The soundness of the river wall, which can stand 50- and 100-year floods, was further supported by a third-party study by Dr. Guillermo Tabios of the University of the Philippines-National Hydraulics Research Center.

“Once the river protection wall is done, Ortigas will begin dredging the riverbed. This is a commitment we have made to the various government agencies we work with, to enhance the river and become part of its transformation. We think that it has the same potential as Clarke Quay of Singapore or River Seine — prime riverside properties that were transformed and carefully maintained by its developers,” Santos said.

Aside from the river wall, Ortigas has also installed a smart drainage system in the property that would collect all used household and rainwater in a big tank for recycling, to minimize what is discharged in the river.

“The recycled water would be used for a lot of non-potable purposes like cleaning, watering plants, among others,” Santos said.
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