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SMC starts SLEx extension to Lucena

Conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) is starting work on a massive expressway that will cut travel time from Metro Manila to Lucena, the capital of Quezon in Southern Luzon.

SMC, through South Luzon Tollway Corp., will hold today a groundbreaking ceremony for its 66.74-kilometer South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) Toll Road 4, or TR4.

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The new tollroad will extend the existing 36-km SLEx—which runs from Alabang in southern Metro Manila to Santo Tomas, Batangas—to Barangay Mayao in Lucena, Quezon.

This will cut the usual three hour trip between Batangas and Quezon to around 45 minutes, SMC said.

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“Cavite and Laguna were considered no man’s land. Once we finish this tollway, the peace and order situation in Quezon and Bicol will improve. Local tourism will improve. New businesses will emerge.  Progress will be brought to the level of the small towns and barangays,” SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang said in a statement.

According to the Department of Public Works and Highways, the project will cost around P13 billion and will take around three years to complete.

SMC said the new tollroad would also bolster economic development in Laguna, Batangas, Quezon and the Bicol region.

“We believe that the TR4 will further unlock the economic potential and promote tourism in Laguna, Batangas, Quezon and Bicol,” Ang said.

“With the growing population of Metro Manila, more and more people and businesses will move to these provinces due to these areas’ proximity. We will continue to invest in modern toll roads and expressways that are at par with our neighbors in Asia,” he added.

The toll road will be divided into six sections, namely:  Santo Tomas, Batangas to Makban in Laguna (11.32 km); Makban to San Pablo City (12.75 km); San Pablo to Tiaong in Quezon (7.5 km), Tiaong to Candelaria (15 km); Candelaria to Tayabas (10.21 km) and Tayabas to Lucena (9.96 km).

Apart from the SLEx, SMC’s Star Tollway Corp. also operates the Star Tollway, Skyway and the Naia Expressway (Naiax) in the South and the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEx) in the northern part of Luzon.

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