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Naia Expressway toll road won’t be ready for Apec meet in Nov

/ 12:05 AM August 26, 2015

The Naia Expressway toll road, one of the government’s big-ticket public private partnership deals, will not be available for use by visiting foreign dignitaries during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Leaders’ Summit in November, its contractor and concessionaire admitted on Tuesday.

The 5.4-kilometer project, won by San Miguel Corp. in 2013 and is being built by contractor D.M. Consunji Inc., has been hit by delays due to right-of-way and utility posts relocation issues.

“I doubt it is possible to finish before the Apec meeting,” Isidro Consunji, president of DMCI Holdings Inc., which owns D.M. Consunji, said in an interview.

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San Miguel and DMCI were seeking to complete a key portion of the toll road, which will link the Ninoy Aquino International Airport terminals and Entertainment City, ahead of the Apec meeting.

But based on the current timetable, that section, known as Phase II-A, will be done by December 2015 at the earliest, San Miguel said. A government source confirmed the December completion for Phase II-A, which could coincide and ease road congestion during the busy Christmas travel season.

“It will be difficult now to finish, it can’t be done. The land for right of way was just delivered yesterday (Aug. 24),” Alec Cruz, San Miguel Holdings head of tollways, said in an interview.

“What we can do is clear the site at grade level,” Cruz said. “We will make it as wide as possible for the Apec meeting.”

He said San Miguel was still planning to open the whole toll road by April 2016.

San Miguel had sought the government’s help to speed up the delivery of right of way and secure the cooperation of utility companies. This entails asking Manila Electric Co. to relocate its posts.

The Naia Expressway aims to provide access to the passenger terminals of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the Skyway and Manila Cavite Expressway roads.

It starts at the Skyway, then follows the road alignments over Sales Ave., Andrews Ave., Domestic Road and NAIA Road. The road will also have exit ramps at Macapagal Boulevard and Entertainment City.

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TAGS: APEC, Apec meeting, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, DMCI Holdings, Isidro Consunji, NAIA, Naia Expressway, San Miguel Corp.
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