The Interchanges of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) opens after midnight today (August 18, 2020), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar announced.

“I am very happy that this Build Build Build (BBB) project has progressed despite the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he remarked after yesterday’s inspection of the Laguna Boulevard and the Laguna Technopark Interchanges.

The Community Quarantine affected the mobilization of construction, the manpower that oversee the coordination to secure the service roads and the overall timeline of the project, he acknowledged.

However, “We have navigated through this situation. It is a delicate balance as we aim to reach more milestones in this project while keeping our people, the community and the construction sites safe,” according to Secretary Villar.

The interchanges give motorists access to and from the Laguna Technopark as well as an alternative route to and from Nuvali via Laguna Boulevard and South Boulevard, decongesting Santa Rosa-Tagaytay Road and other local service roads in the area.

The 45-kilometer CALAX has 9 interchanges in Kawit, Governor’s Drive, Open Canal, Aguinaldo Highway, Silang East, Santa Rosa-Tagaytay, Laguna Boulevard, Laguna Technopark, and Greenfield (Mamplasan).

The Laguna Segment serves 10,000 cars per day and these interchanges are added catalysts for the much needed economic activity at all levels, it will allow the flow of output of goods and services that people utilize thereby spurring growth in the community and the region, Villar elaborated.

Furthermore, “These interchanges will open in full electronic mode to help stem the spread of Covid-19,” says MP CALA Holdings Inc President Bobby Bontia.

“Safety is our highest priority for both our motorists and personnel,” he added.

Operating the interchanges using 100% RFID will eliminate cross contamination of the virus which may spread through bills and coins used in cash payments.

By November the whole of CALAX will be on RFID technology.

Soon, the 4-lane expressway will connect the Manila-Cavite Expressway (CAVITEX) in Kawit City, Cavite to the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) at Greenfield (Mamplasan) Interchange in Biñan, Laguna.

When completed, CALAX shall serve about 45,000 vehicles cutting travel time from 2hours to under an hour.

Last week, the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) has approved the rates for the Interchanges of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) – the Laguna Boulevard Interchange and the Laguna Technopark Interchange in Biñan, both slated to be opened this month.

CALAX features barrierless entries and toll fees are paid upon exit.

Operator MPCALA Holdings, Inc. is a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation.

The former also holds the concession rights for the CAVITEX, Cavitex C5 Link, the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), the NLEX Connector Road, the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) and the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX) in Cebu.

by Emmie V. Abadilla
August 18, 2020