NLEx connector to port area eyed
The tollroad arm of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. is offering to extend the North Luzon Expressway deeper into Manila and closer to the Port area, part of a broader goal to unclog roads in the congested capital district.
Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar told reporters on Monday that a new tollroad project was being discussed with Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., which operates the North Luzon Expressway, Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway and the Cavite Expressway.
Romulo Quimbo Jr., NLEx Corp. senior vice president for communications and stakeholder management, confirmed to reporters that they have made an initial submission to the Department of Public Works and Highways.
He said the roughly 5.1-kilometer proposal was dubbed the Harbor Link Port Access Mobility Facility and would cost about P15-P16 billion.
“We just submitted it,” Quimbo said on Monday. He said the new offer would extend NLEx Corp.’s Harbor Link from R10 in Navotas all the way to Anda Circle, which is at the boundary of Manila’s Port Area.
“The advantage is it’s needed by the ports,” Quimbo said, referring to the busy area that includes the Manila International Container Terminal and Manila South Harbor.“You have to bring the ports closer to the NLEx,” he added.
The Harbor Link is an important component of the NLEx, which stretches over 100 kilometers from Balintawak in Quezon City to Sta. Ines, Mabalacat City, Pampanga.
On Monday, Villar led the inspection of the Harbor Link R10 section, which will be completed by March 2020.
The 2.6-km elevated tollroad is currently 62-percent compete. It stretches west from the new Caloocan Interchange to Radial Road 10 in Navotas City. An important feature of the project is a new off-ramp that will bring motorists directly from the NLEx to Dagat-Dagatan in Malabon City.
The Harbor Link will also be linked to the 8-km NLEx Connector road project, which will link the NLEx and South Luzon Expressway in southern Metro Manila.
NLEx Corp. started laying the foundation for the connector road, which is expected to be fished by 2021.
Once completed, the connector road project will cut travel time between the northern and southern portions of Metro Manila from about two hours to 25 minutes.This is one of two elevated expressways aimed at bridging the NLEx and SLEx. San Miguel Corp. is also building the Skyway Stage 3, which will open by March 2020. INQ
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