MNTC set to start 1st phase of Harbor LinkBy Paolo G. Montecillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Manuel V. Pangilinan-led Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC) is set to start construction on the section of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) that will create a direct link to MacArthur Highway.
The new section of NLEx, called Segment 9, is also the first phase of what will be the Harbor Link spur road, which will connect the country’s oldest toll road with Manila’s port area.
“This road will lead to more efficient cargo distribution and meet the need for faster and more convenient travel,” said Ramoncito Fernandez, president of MNTC’s parent firm, Metro Pacific Tollways Corp.
Segment 9 will span 2.42 kilometers from the Smart Connect Interchange to MacArthur Highway. Fernandez said Segment 9 would cost P1.7 billion and take a year to build.
The next phase of the Harbor Link road, the so-called Segment 10, is an elevated toll from MacArthur Highway to C3 road for a distance of 5.65 kilometers. Segment 10 will cost P8 billion.
MNTC president Rodrigo Franco said the Harbor Link road would attract 30,000 new vehicles to the NLEx and create 10,000 jobs while the roads are being built.
“We hope to be able to contribute to the robust economic growth of the country under the Aquino administration,” Franco said.
He said the Harbor Link road would allow truckers and logistics firms to travel out of the port area to Northern and Central Luzon at any time of the day without violating Metro Manila’s 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. truck ban.
“Today, trucks have to exit through Balintawak and take public roads to get to the port area. Once this is complete, they can go straight to the port area,” Franco said.
The Harbor Link road would form part of the NLEx-SLEx Connector Road that MPTC has proposed to build. MPTC’s proposal will undergo a Swiss challenge, where other interested parties will be given the chance to submit better offers, before the end of the first semester.