New Metro expressway eyed
Infrastructure giant Metro Pacific Investments Corp. is proposing another massive north-to-south Metro Manila expressway that it hopes will help combat worsening road congestion in the coming years.
The project, estimated to cost P62.4 billion, is called the NLEx-Cavitex Port Expressway Link. Mainly traversing the Manila Bay area, it is envisioned to link North Luzon Expressway and the Cavite Expressway, both controlled by Metro Pacific, via a 15-kilometer, four-lane toll road.
The proposal was made by Metro Pacific unit Manila North Tollways Corp. It was recently submitted to Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, according to the department’s public-private partnership (PPP) service.
So far, there are two elevated “connector road” expressways aiming to link the northern and southern portions of Metro Manila.
There is San Miguel Corp.’s Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3, which will open by 2020, and Metro Pacific’s connector road, which has yet to start construction but is targeting completion by 2021.
Both projects, which will link NLEx and SMC-controlled South Luzon Expressway, want to loosen traffic-strangled roads in the capital district.
This is the same objective of Metro Pacific’s NLEx-Cavitex Port Expressway, which is also counting on luring large trucks that serve Manila’s busy port area.
The toll road will be divided into two phases, starting at the end of the Radial Road 10 spur road ramp of NLEx up to Anda Circle near Intramuros, Manila. It will further run along Roxas Boulevard until Cavitex, which connects to the southern province of Cavite.
Metro Pacific, whose portfolio also spans water supply, power, hospitals and railways, is extending NLEx in this location via its North Harbor Link Segment 10, which is poised for completion by December this year.
The new project still needs to undergo evaluation by the DPWH.
President Duterte reversed the previous administration’s policy of broadly discouraging unsolicited offers. However, Mr. Duterte has yet to approve a single new proposal despite the slew of private sector offers that have since emerged since the change in policy.
Villar said last month that various projects were being reviewed and in some cases, the DPWH had sought added information.
Last June, Metro Pacific made an offer to the DPWH to build and operate the P23.7-billion Cavite-Tagaytay-Batangas Expressway, which will end in Nasugbu.
SMC, however, noted that this would challenge an earlier proposal it made called the Tanauan-Tagaytay Expressway, which was proposed through a joint venture with the state-run Philippine National Construction Corp.
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