Traffic respite expected as Naia expressway segment opens in Sept.
A San Miguel Corp.-backed toll road project aimed at cutting road congestion around Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) would be partially opened by next month, a senior government official said.
Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar told reporters Monday a portion of the 7.75-kilometer Naia Expressway Phase 2 public-private partnership project linking Macapagal Boulevard near Entertainment City to Naia Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 would open by the third week of September.
Another segment extending the toll road to Naia Terminal 3 and further to the Metro Manila Skyway, also controlled by SMC, would open “by Christmas” of 2016, he said.
“The President’s orders were for 24/7 construction so we are working 24/7 to finish the Naia Expressway,” Villar told reporters during a routine inspection on Monday.
Villar said the toll rate, which was being handled by the Transportation Department, has yet to be finalized. He said the estimated fee was anywhere between P35 to P45.
Upon completion, the tollroad would reduce notorious traffic bottlenecks around the airport complex, the country’s busiest.
The DPWH estimated average travel time between the Skyway and Naia Terminal 1 took about 24 minutes. With the Naia Expressway Phase 2, that would be cut to 8.2 minutes.
“That is 80,000 users per day that could benefit from this target. That is why the Duterte administration is committed to finish this at the soonest possible time,” Villar said.
SMC, via Vertex Tollways Development Inc., won the P17.9-billion project in 2013 after its P11-billion bid bested the offer of sole rival Metro Pacific Investments Corp. The conglomerate will operate the expressway for a period of 30 years. Tapped as civil works contractor was D.M. Consunji Inc., a unit of DMCI Holdings Inc. With a report from Julie M. Aurelio
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