MANILA, Philippines — The Cavitex Infrastructure Corp. (CIC), together with joint venture partner Philippine Reclamation Authority, is opening tomorrow the first 2.2-kilometer section of the 7.7-km Cavitex C. P. Garcia (C5) Link Expressway, as it looks to start construction of its next segment by the fourth quarter.

The 2.2-km C5 Link Flyover section is a P1.6-billion project that will connect C5 to Merville, Pasay City and Sucat, Parañaque City.

Public Works Secretary Mark Villar said the urban expressway would provide motorists new routes when traversing the traffic choked corridors between Parañaque, Las Piñas, Pasay and Taguig in south Metro Manila.

“Vehicular traffic spends about 1.5 hours just to cross from Villamor area in Pasay City to Taguig via Fort Bonifacio. On opening, this section will have three lanes on each direction and will enable about 8,000 vehicles to easily cross in half that time,” Villar said.

Villar said the government is committed to pursuing the completion of the remaining sections of the Cavitex C5 Link Expressway under the Build Build Build program.

For its part, CIC said the C5 Link Flyover project will be an alternate route for commuters traveling between Fort Bonifacio, C5, Taguig, Parañaque, Las Piñas and Pasay.

It will directly cross over, from C5, the Metro Manila Skyway and the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), to Merville and Sucat.

It is expected to divert vehicular traffic from the often-gridlocked Sales interchange near Villamor Air Base and ease congestion on both SLEX East and West Service Road as well as EDSA.

“We are on our final touches for this segment. Ultimately, we foresee that the Cavitex-C5 Link Expressway will benefit about 50,000 vehicles daily and will afford commuters the expressway experience south of Metro Manila from our Parañaque Toll Plaza to C5 in Taguig City,” CIC president Roberto Bontia said.

Bontia added that CIC intends to start construction of the next 2.1-km section of the C5 Link Expressway from Merville to Sucat, Las Piñas by the fourth quarter.

The Cavitex C5 Link Flyover will be the second public private partnership toll road delivered by CIC’s parent company Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) this year, following the completion of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Harbor Link Segment 10 last February.

Aside from the Cavitex and Cavite-Laguna Expressway network in the South of Manila, MPTC’s portfolio includes the concessions for NLEX, Subic-Clark Tarlac Expressway, NLEX Connector Road, and Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway in Cebu.

Meanwhile, the Department of Public Works and Highways said a 3.76-km section of Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 will be partially opened today.

“Skyway Stage 3 Section 1 is not fully completed yet but we are opening two lanes, one each for north and southbound so that vehicular traffic will be dispersed from the congested main roads in the area,” Villar said.

The Skyway Stage 3 is the elevated road project of SMC unit Citra Central Expressway Corp. that will connect SLEX and NLEX from Buendia in Makati to Bagong Barrio in Caloocan crossing the EDSA Balintawak cloverleaf.

Richmond Mercurio