2nd NLEx-SLEx connector road breaks ground
A second elevated expressway that will help clear Metro Manila’s congested roads and link the northern and southern portions of the capital district is targeted for completion by the middle of 2021.
The new target was revealed as a unit of Manuel V. Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Investments Corp. held a groundbreaking ceremony for its P23.3-billion North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) connector road, which was first proposed during the Arroyo administration almost a decade ago.
The project, which was hit by a series of reviews and implementation disagreements under former President Benigno Aquino III, is a four-lane toll road spanning eight kilometers. It will partially run over railway tracks operated by the Philippine National Railways.
Once finished, NLEx connector road will cut travel time between the NLEx and South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) to about 20 minutes from more than two hours.
A second NLEx-to-SLEx elevated toll road— the Skyway Stage 3 being built by San Miguel Corp.— broke ground in 2014. Also suffering from delays in right of way delivery, it is expected to be completed by 2020, information posted on the website of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) showed.
Luigi Bautista, president and general manager of Metro Pacific unit NLEx Corp., said at the sidelines of the groundbreaking event that they were waiting for the substantial delivery of right of way before ramping up construction activities for the NLEx connector road.
Should this be delivered on time, the company can start full-scale construction by April this year and finish the whole project by the middle of 2021, he said.
The groundbreaking event was scheduled alongside the inauguration of the 5.65-km NLEx Harbor Link Segment 10. This will cut travel time between C3 and NLEx to five minutes as it shifts vehicles away from Edsa.
The ceremonies on Thursday were led by President Duterte as well as key Cabinet officials from the departments of Transportation, Finance and Budget and Management, DPWH, National Economic and Development Authority, executive secretary and local government units, including Manila Mayor and former President Joseph Estrada.
“Apart from our team’s commitment to support the administration’s ‘Build Build Build’ program, the government’s help in ramping up the acquisition of right of way made us deliver this vital infrastructure, which aims to bolster development and ease traffic congestion in the country,” Metro Pacific chair Pangilinan said.
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