CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan — Motorists coming from Bulacan and the northern part of Luzon may soon experience reduced travel time from the North Luzon Expressway to the South Luzon Expressway.
This, after Public Works Sec. Mark Villar together with officials of NLEX Corporation and construction company D.M. Consunji Inc. (DMCI) inspected on Tuesday (Nov. 5) the construction of the NLEX Connector along the Philippine National Railways tracks in Caloocan City.
In a statement, NLEX Corporation said that it earlier awarded the main works contract to DMCI for the first five-kilometer section of the NLEX Connector from Grace Park, Caloocan City to Espana Street in Sampaloc, Manila.
The contract covers the main civil works for the Caloocan-España section. The NLEX Connector will continue the NLEX southward from NLEX Harbor Link Segment 10 from the new Caloocan Interchange.
Spanning a total of 8 kilometers, the full NLEX Connector will be an all-weather, all vehicle class elevated expressway that will traverse the new Caloocan Interchange in 5th Avenue/C3 Road in Caloocan City pass through España, eventually link up with the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 at PUP Sta. Mesa in Manila.
The project will utilize portions of the existing right-of-way of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) which will be shared by the NLEX Connector project and the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR), currently also under construction.
Secretary Villar spearheaded the detailed inspection of the project site and urged the fast-tracking of the turnover of the right of way (ROW) and said: “We are committed to accelerating the ROW acquisition in order to build traffic solutions for our motorists.”
The new Caloocan Interchange will serve as a strategic converging point for the 5.65-km NLEX Harbor Link Segment 10, the 2.6-km R-10 section, and the 8-km NLEX Connector.
“Upon full completion in 2021, the NLEX Connector will significantly cut travel time from NLEX to SLEX by at least 60 percent. Instead of the usual two hours, travel time will now be reduced to about 20 minutes. It will also provide improved accessibility for cargo trucks bound for the Manila Ports (North and South Harbor) and the international airports such as NAIA and Clark.” Villar said.
On the other hand, NLEX Corporation president and general manager Luigi Bautista, said “We are confident that our team, our contractor, and our partners in government will work together to deliver high-quality elevated expressway. We are looking forward to providing further convenience to our motorists as the NLEX Connector aims to decongest major thoroughfares such as EDSA and C5.”
Seen as a crucial infrastructure needed to solve traffic congestion in Metro Manila, the NLEX Connector is also expected to stimulate economic development in Manila, Caloocan, Malabon, and Navotas, as well as its surrounding areas.
Around 35,000 motorists, especially cargo trucks, who are expected to benefit from the project, will be spared using Metro Manila’s congested city roads since they will traverse their routes mostly above the PNR alignment. (RONDA BALITA Online)