DPWH targets to open first 5-km of NLEX connector before end of 2021

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 20, 2021   •   780

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) announced on Wednesday (January 20) that it targets to open the 5-kilometer portion of the NLEX Connector by the end of 2021.

The first 5 kilometers of the NLEX Connector links Caloocan Interchange, C3 and España Boulevard in Manila.

“Spanning a total of eight kilometers, the DPWH said the full NLEX Connector will be an all vehicle class elevated expressway that will traverse the C3 Road in Caloocan City pass through Abad Santos, Blumentritt, Dimasalang, España, Magsaysay Boulevard and eventually connect with the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Sta. Mesa in Manila,” the DPWH said.

DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said the project aims to ease traffic along EDSA.

The full NLEX Connector that spans 8 kilometers will feature four toll plazas and interchanges from C3 and España.

It is expected to reduce travel time between NLEX and South Luzon Expressway from two hours to just 20 minutes.

The 23-billion project is also seen to provide better access to Manila Ports (North Harbor) and airports (NAIA and Clark).

Kapag natapos itong connector lalong luluwag ang EDSA kasi lahat ng trucks na galing sa port magkakaroon ng option na mag NLEX or mag SLEX (As soon as the connector is completed, EDSA will be decongested as all trucks from the port will have the option to use either the NLEX or SLEX),” he said.

Villar said as they strive to complete the first 5 kilometers, they will also target to complete the NLEX Connector up to Sta. Mesa, Manila before the term of President Rodrigo Duterte ends. —AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

Construction of 3km NLEX Connector in Sta. Mesa now underway

Maris Federez   •   December 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The construction of the second section of NLEX Connector, between the future España and Sta. Mesa interchanges in Manila, has officially begun, a media release from NLEX Corporation said Tuesday (December 14).

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and NLEX Corp. led the groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday for the remaining three kilometers of the elevated expressway.

Earlier, NLEX Corp. signed an agreement with China Road and Bridges Corporation (CRBC) for the civil works contract of the project, the statement said.

The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by DPWH Secretary Roger Mercado, Usec. Maria Catalina Cabral, Usec. Rafael Yabut, Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) President and CEO Rodrigo Franco, and NLEX Corp. President and General Manager J. Luigi Bautista.

The event was also attended by Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) Executive Director Alvin Carullo, Philippine National Railways (PNR) Asst. GM Ces Lauta, NLEX Corp. CFO Ma. Theresa Wells, NLEX Corp. VP for Tollway Development and Engineering Nemesio Castillo, CRBC GM Ren Xiaopeng, and CRBC Marketing Manager Haiyan Mo.

The whole stretch of the 8-kilometer NLEX Connector uses portions of the PNR right-of-way.

The statement added that the Connector “extends the expressway southward from the NLEX Harbor Link Caloocan Interchange, 5th Avenue/C3 Road passing through España Blvd., R. Magsaysay Blvd., and eventually connecting to the Skyway Stage 3 within the vicinity of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) in Sta. Mesa, Manila”.

“We are committed to providing the necessary right-of-way for this project as we target to complete this segment by end of 2022,” said Secretary Mercado.

“Upon completion, the NLEX Connector will enable Manila ports to have a seamless north-south connection and provide further convenience to motorists with the decongestion of major thoroughfares like EDSA and C5,” he added.

The statement further said that the connector will help in decongesting local roads as it will divert cargo trucks to the elevated expressway, improving the mobility of motorists.

This, NLEX Corp. said, will be beneficial to truckers because the route is available 24/7, without a truck ban, thereby leading to unhampered delivery of goods.

Once opened, around 35,000 motorists are expected to traverse this new expressway which runs mostly above the PNR alignment.

“The Metro Pacific Group actively contributes to accelerating infrastructure development in the Philippines. This new elevated expressway hopes to support the country’s economic recovery by helping reduce traffic congestion in the metro and offering those with private cars and commercial vehicles ease of travel,” said MPTC President Franco.

He added that “the project will enhance accessibility to international airports such as NAIA and Clark, help generate jobs, and stimulate development between Metro Manila and its surrounding provinces in the north and south.”

Meanwhile, the construction of the first five-kilometer section of the project between Caloocan and España interchanges continues to progress with close to 60 percent completion.

“Together with our government partners, we remain steadfast in ramping up this high impact elevated expressway that will benefit the motoring public and nearby communities,” NLEX Corp. President Bautista said. —/mbmf

DPWH launches AYUDA program for workers displaced by pandemic

Maris Federez   •   December 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) on Tuesday launched a program that will provide assistance to individuals who were rendered unemployed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a media release, DPWH Acting Secretary Roger G. Mercado announced the new department initiative called the Assistance to Youth and Unemployed for Development and Advancement (AYUDA) Program which aims at addressing the unemployment rate in the country.

The implementation of AYUDA Program will be rolled out in 16 DPWH Regional Offices and 189 DEOs nationwide, the advisory said.

“Through this program, we hope to support Filipino families by employing at least one member per household as well as empower the youth by making them productive members of the society,” Secretary Mercado said.

Jobs for the beneficiaries entail work on roadside maintenance such as street sweeping, cleaning of street signs, hauling waste materials, and painting concrete barriers.

These activities complement the DPWH’s comprehensive project cycle which does not end upon the completion of infrastructure projects but also covers their upkeeping and maintenance, the department said.

NLEX-SCTEX operator prepares for long weekend holiday

Maris Federez   •   October 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC), the operator of the North Luzon Expressway-Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (NLEX-SCTEX), has started preparing for the long weekend holiday.

In a statement, the MPTC said they expect a 10 percent increase in the volume of vehicles that will pass the NLEX-SCTEX starting October 29 to November 2.

The toll operator said they will implement extended working hours for their employees to give more attention to areas that are usually affected by the heavy flow of traffic.

“With traffic growth of 10% anticipated in NLEX-SCTEX, traffic management teams will adopt extended working hours to closely monitor and manage the expected high volume of vehicles in Balintawak, Mindanao, Karuhatan, Bocaue, San Simon, San Fernando, Tarlac, and Tipo,” the MPTC management said.

The MPTC has also put on hold construction and closure activities in several expressway lanes.

As added service, the MPTC will post traffic situations in the expressway through the NLEX social media accounts. Other information may be obtained through the company’s 24/7 hotline number 1-35000. —/mbmf

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