MANILA, Philippines — North Luzon Expressway Corp. (NLEX) plans to pursue the completion of at least two infrastructure projects this year, both of which seek to speed up the flow of travel within Metro Manila and beyond.

Based on its blueprint, NLEX hopes to complete the NLEX Connector Road within the year despite the challenges in terms of right of way and expressway interconnectivity.

NLEX president Luigi Bautista said the eight-kilometer NLEX Connector Road stretches from the Caloocan Interchange in C3 Road up to the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Sta. Mesa, Manila.

In its full swing, Bautista said the project should contribute in decongesting traffic volume going to Manila from NLEX.

The company expects the four-lane expressway to serve about 35,000 motorists passing through its three interchanges: C3 Road in Caloocan City, España Boulevard and Magsaysay Boulevard in Manila.

NLEX has completed 94 percent of the España section and hopes to open it within the first quarter of the year. It has finished 29 percent of the Sta. Mesa section, although challenges in expressway interconnectivity are slowing it down.

In 2022, the Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) informed the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) of its willingness to spend P2 billion to put up the interconnection bridge that will link NLEX with Skyway.

Skyway operator San Miguel Corp. is tasked to build the interconnection structure through a tripartite deal with the Toll Regulatory Board and DPWH.

Apart from the NLEX Connector Road, Bautista said civil civil works for the Candaba Third Viaduct would also commence within the first quarter.

The project should widen the five kilometer bridge from the existing three lanes without shoulder to three lanes with inner and outer shoulder for each way. Once completed, the bridge will raise the maximum speed when traveling Candaba Viaduct to 80 kilometers per hour, from 60 kph.

NLEX is also looking at building new expressway lanes in Pampanga. In particular, the firm wants to add expressway lanes along San Fernando to the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) Spur.

In line with the Metro Pacific Group’s green initiatives, NLEX also announced that it would start using electric vehicles in its operations to serve as road patrols.

NLEX is a unit of MPTC, the toll road development arm of Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Investments Corp.

Elijah Felice Rosales – The Philippine Star
January 15, 2023 | 12:00am