CLLEX set to boost ecotourism, allow farmers, entrepreneurs to deliver goods faster
Motorists and commuters may now use parts of Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEX) after an 18-km section of the flagship infrastructure project opened on July 15.
“We will inaugurate … the first 18-km section of CLLEX from Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX)/Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) connection in Tarlac City up to the intersection of Aliaga-Guimba Road in Aliaga, Nueva Ecija,” said Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary (DPWH) Mark A. Villar during an inspection on July 14.
Joining Villar at the event were Emil K. Sadain, DPWH Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations, and Project Director Benjamin A. Bautista.
Sadain noted that the recently opened section of the four-lane expressway included three contract packages for the 4.1-km Tarlac Section, the 6.4-km Rio Chico River Bridge Section and the 9.2-km Aliaga Section with ramps on Guimba-Aliaga Road.
The packages are part of a 30-km project worth P11.811 billion, implemented under the “Build, Build, Build” agenda with funding assistance from the Japan
International Cooperation Agency. Since the project is not a public-private partnership, it will be toll-free.
The remaining stretch will open soon, said Villar. The 10.3-km Cabanatuan Section was already at 88.7 percent and the Zaragoza Interchange Section at 26.9 percent.
CLLEX is an important east-west link in Central Luzon, shortening travel time between Tarlac and Cabanatuan cities from 70 to 20 minutes.
CLLEX will also ensure a seamless traffic flow to and from Metro Manila through the North Luzon Expressway, SCTEX and TPLEX. Expected to serve some 11,200 people daily, it will decongest traffic on Daang Maharlika, boost ecotourism and allow farmers and entrepreneurs to deliver goods faster.
A second phase will extend CLLEX to San Jose City in Nueva Ecija, making the whole route 65.7 km long.
CLLEX is just one of DPWH’s 15,000 projects for 2016-2020 across Central Luzon—Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Pampanga and Zambales. Regionwide, the agency completed 2,438 km of road and 489 national bridges.
That tally covers the Pulilan-Baliuag Bypass Road opened in March and the Bagac-Mariveles Diversion Road opened in December. Last May, DPWH opened the Luyos-Buliran Bridge in San Antonio, Nueva Ecija, as well as an access road leading to declared tourist destinations from the MacArthur Highway to New Clark City (NCC) via Kalangitan Road in Capas, Tarlac.
The public may begin using the widened 2.2-km Plaridel Bypass Project Phase 3 on July 21. Phase 2 of Ciudad de Victoria Interchange Bypass Road in Bulacan is also set to connect Bocaue to Santa Maria, Bulacan, without passing through Governor F. Halili Road.
High-impact projects are slated for completion, too. The San Jose-Palauig Road and Capas-Botolan Road connecting Tarlac and Zambales will be open in 2022 and 2024, respectively. The Lubao-Guagua-Minalin-Santo Tomas Bypass Road, a vital component of the Pampanga Megalopolis Masterplan, is 64-percent complete.
Tarlac has seen the construction of roads leading to NCC. DPWH is improving the Manila North Road to SCTEX Luisita Access Road. Finished by December is an access road from MacArthur Highway to Tarlac-Zambales Road via Kalangitan.
“The DPWH has been working 24/7, even in the face of this pandemic to finish all projects committed under the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program following the instructions from the Chief Executive to meet our target before he goes down as the country’s 16th President,” Villar said.
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