SLEx extension to Lucena City hits snags
Food, drinks and infrastructure conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) said a major project to extend the South Luzon Expressway to Quezon province was suffering delays due to “unsettled” right-of-way and COVID-19 restrictions.
In a statement, SMC said it was accelerating construction activities at the 66.7-kiloemter SLEx Tollroad-4 (SLEx-TR4) despite outstanding issues.
“We are in the initial stages of construction for SLEX-TR4. Despite the limitations of the pandemic and delays in right-of-way acquisitions, we’re moving forward and making good progress,” SMC president Ramon S. Ang said in a statement.
The project would extend the existing SLEx from Sto. Tomas, Batangas to Lucena City in Quezon. The SLEx spans 36.1 kilometers from Alabang, Muntinlupa to Sto. Tomas.
SMC did not indicate a new completion date for the SLEX-TR4. The project started in 2019 and was expected to be finished by 2022.
Despite pandemic restrictions, Ang said right-of-way remained “the biggest factor that will determine how fast the project can be completed.”
“As with any project of this size, acquiring all the necessary rights-of-way is the primary challenge. While we anticipated that it will take some time, it also doesn’t mean we don’t do anything,” he said.
“We are using the same strategy we utilized for our Skyway 3 project—which is to concentrate work on all workable areas—and then adjust as other areas become available,” he added.
SMC said construction activities were concentrated on the project’s section B in Alaminos, Laguna, and Section C in Tiaong, Quezon, near the Hacienda Escudero area.
This involved areas such as the PNR underpass, Koquinkona bridge, and Maharlika underpass parallel to the Alaminos-Tiaong Bypass road.
Pipe-laying for drainage and embankment works to level the road prior to laying of concrete are also ongoing, SMC said.
Another section involved the construction of the Tiaong bridge, Tiaong underpass, and Dolores bridge, as well as drainage and embankment works, SMC said.
“SLEX-TR4 will form part of our interconnected expressway network in the south, designed not just to ease transport of people and goods, but also to disperse economic growth and growth opportunities so it can reach and benefit our countrymen in our regions,” Ang said.
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