NLEX Corp., a unit of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), announced on Wednesday that the first five-kilometer section of its Connector project between Caloocan Interchange on Circumferential Road 3 (C-3) and the future España Interchange in Manila is now 80% complete.
This means that “in a few months’ time, truckers will have a 24/7 alternative route which will enable unimpeded delivery of goods,” NLEX Corp. President and General Manager J. Luigi L. Bautista said in an e-mailed statement.
The project is being implemented as a public-private partnership between the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and NLEX Corp.
It is expected to offer “a much-needed recourse to shorten the travel time of cargoes going to and from the north and south of Luzon,” according to the company.
“The DPWH has turned over 91% of the right-of-way for the España section and 83% for the Sta. Mesa section,” NLEX Corp. noted.
The 2.75-kilometer second phase between España and PUP Sta. Mesa is expected to be completed next year, according to the DPWH.
The P23.3-billion eight-kilometer Connector Road Project, on which construction started in May 2019, is an all-elevated four-lane toll expressway extending NLEX southward from the end of Segment 10 in C-3 Road Caloocan City to Sta. Mesa, Manila and connecting to the Skyway Stage 3, mostly along the route of the Philippine National Railways rail line.
When completed, the project is expected to cut travel time from South Luzon Expressway to NLEX from two hours to 20 minutes and reduce travel time from Clark to Calamba from about three hours to one hour and 40 minutes.
The project is expected to benefit at least 35,000 motorists or vehicles per day and improve connectivity between NAIA and Clark airports.
MPTC is the tollways unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp., one of three key Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT, Inc.
Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Arjay L. Balinbin