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SMC to open Naia Expressway portion in June

Conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) is hoping to open a key phase of the Naia Expressway tollroad next month in order to help ease bottlenecks around the Ninoy Aquino International Airport complex in Metro Manila.

Alec Cruz, who heads the tollways business for SMC subsidiary San Miguel Holdings, said on Wednesday the firm was aiming to open by June 11, 2016 the Naia Expressway portion that connects Macapagal Avenue near the Entertainment City casino complex to Naia Terminals 1 and 2.

The rest of the expressway, which has a total length of 7.6 kilometers, would be opened in succeeding phases until November this year.

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The P17.9-billion project, among the Aquino administration’s big-ticket public private partnership (PPP) projects, earlier suffered delays due to the acquisition of the right of way and the transfer of water, telco and power infrastructure along its alignment.

The opening date, if met, would come before the country celebrates its 118th year of independence on June 12. It would likely to be the last major infrastructure project to be opened before President Aquino steps down also next month.

D.M. Consunji Inc. president Jorge Consunji confirmed the construction activities at the Entertainment City to Terminals 1 and 2 could be finished within this month. The company was tapped to build the Naia Expressway.

Briefing materials from SMC, which already operates the South Luzon Expressway and Skyway tollroads, showed the NAIA Expressway would handle about 80,000 vehicles per day.

It was seen to cut travel between the Skyway and Naia Terminals 1 and 2 to just 8 minutes from the current 24 minutes. The project would also connect the Cavite Expressway to the Skyway Stage 2.

SMC was planning to open Phase 2B, which would extend the tollroad further to the Naia Terminal 3, by September this year. The link from ramp 1 in Villamor Airbase to Naia Expressway phase 1, meanwhile, could be finished by November 2016.

SMC won the Naia Expressway PPP project in 2013 after its P11-billion bid bested sole rival Metro Pacific Investments Corp.’s P305 million. SMC would be operating the expressway for a period of 30 years.

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TAGS: Business, economy, Naia Expressway, News, San Miguel Corp., SMC
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