SLEx extension to Quezon ready by 2019
TIAONG, Quezon–President Aquino on Friday said that after several administrations, dating to the time of deposed President Marcos, a new highway linking Quezon province to the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) would become a reality in 2019.
He recalled that the expressway from Manila to Quezon was first planned during the Marcos regime and was approved during the administration of former President Fidel Ramos. The project broke ground during the term of President Arroyo.
“This was promised during the time of Mr. Marcos, when I just completed grade school … and now during my administration, at last it will now be started,” the President told his audience during the briefing on the SLEx Toll Road 4 Project (TR4) that will link the expressway from Santo Tomas, Batangas, to Lucena City, Quezon’s capital.
The P13.1 billion SLEx-TR4 project will make travel from Manila to Southern Tagalog provinces—particularly Batangas, Laguna and Quezon—and Bicol region faster and safer. Also, the four-lane, 58-kilometer expressway project will cut travel time between Sto. Tomas to Lucena to just an hour from the current four hours.
TR4 is divided into five sections: Sto. Tomas to Makban in Laguna (10.58 km); Makban to San Pablo City (12.2 km); San Pablo to Tiaong, Quezon (8.1 km); Tiaong to Candelaria, Quezon (14.4 km); Candelaria to Lucena City (12.3 km). It will have seven interchanges in Sto. Tomas, Makban, San Pablo City, Tiaong, Candelaria, Sariaya and Lucena City.
Ramon Ang, chair of South Luzon Tollway Corp., the project proponent and a unit of conglomerate San Miguel Corp., said they were targeting 2016 to complete the Sto. Tomas-Makban portion and 2019 to finish the whole project.
President Aquino said the TR4 project showed the private sector’s continued trust in his administration.
Mr. Aquino arrived here with Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio A. Abaya and Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, a native of Quezon. The President was welcomed by provincial officials led by Gov. David Suarez and local government officials from Tiaong, Candelaria, Sariaya and Lucena City. Mr. Aquino was also welcomed by Quezon lawmakers Mark Enverga, Vicente Alcala, Aleta Suarez and Helen Tan.
Meantime, SMC is spending P168 billion for infrastructure projects, including “world-class” tollroads, over the next five years.
The company, which has expanded its traditional food and drinks portfolio to include expressways, airports and power plants, announced the plan as it released details on the extension of its SLEx project yesterday.
SMC operates SLEx as well as the Metro Manila Skyway and Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR) Tollway with Indonesia’s Citra Group. It also manages the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway north of Metro Manila. With a report from Miguel R. Camus
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