By Tyrone Jasper C. Piad, Inquirer Business
Motorists will be able to pass through the NLEx Connector road, an elevated expressway linking the border of North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) in Caloocan to Sta. Mesa, Manila by the second quarter of next year as developer Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) unit ramps up construction.
“You will be the first to know that this project will be fully operational within the early second quarter next year,” NLEx Corp. president and general manager Luigi Bautista said in an event in Pasay on Wednesday.
Bautista said that the first two sections linking Caloocan and España interchanges were already over 90 percent complete. These are expected to be opened by December.
In its entirety, the 8-kilometer toll road is anticipated to serve 35,000 motorists daily.
“This project augurs well for the transport industry as we expect trucks to have an easier access to trading centers in Central and Northern Luzon without having to squeeze through congested roads in Metro Manila,” he said.
“As a fully committed company engaged in infrastructure development, management of toll road projects, and mobility services, we continually seek ways for speedier deliveries of goods and services and renew interest in domestic tourism,” he added.
The NLEx Connector is a public-private partnership project between the Department of Public Works and Highways and NLEx Corp., which seeks to reduce the travel time of passengers and cargo going to and from the north and south of Luzon.
“Beyond providing vital infrastructure for the unimpeded flow of goods and services and the accessibility to and from nearby regions, the Metro Pacific Tollways Group has embarked on digital transformation of our operations and services,” Bautista said.
“We have lined up a number of technology-based projects and initiatives that will be greatly beneficial for our stakeholders,” he added.
Earlier this year, NLEx Corp. said it had set aside P1.2 billion this year to beef up its infrastructure and toll collection system, among others.
The tollway company was set to replace about 100 toll system equipment. These include toll fare indicators, lane status indicators, traffic control gates, automatic vehicle classification devices and loop detectors.
NLEx Corp. said the project covered toll plazas in Balintawak, Karuhatan, Paso de Blas, Meycauayan, Marilao, Bocaue, Balagtas, Tabang, Sta. Rita, Pulilan, San Simon, San Fernando, Mexico and Angeles.
The tollroad operator is a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Investment Corp.’s toll road arm MPTC.