By Tyrone Jasper C. Piad, Inquirer Business
Motorists will be able to traverse the Caloocan-España portion of the NLEx (North Luzon Expressway) Connector this month in time for the Holy Week traffic buildup in April.
The 5-kilometer section of the 8-km toll road linking Caloocan and Sta. Mesa is set to open by March 27. It is already 98 percent complete.
“We are on our final stretch of construction for this first segment of the NLEx Connector and we are looking forward to opening it before the end of March,” said Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Manuel Bonoan.
The toll road’s first segment is expected to reduce traffic congestion on España Boulevard, Abad Santos Avenue, Rizal Avenue and Lacson Avenue.
The four-lane toll road is designed to cater to all vehicle classes, including trucks. It can accommodated around 35,000 vehicles per day.
“The NLEx Connector augurs well for the agency’s mandate of providing convenient access for road users as it will address traffic congestion. We will ensure that a holistic traffic management plan will be in order so motorists can travel safely and seamlessly,” Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said.
The last segment, España and Sta. Mesa interchanges, is expected to be complete by end of May.
The NLEx Connector is a public-private partnership project between the DPWH and NLEx Corp., which seeks to reduce the travel time of cargo going to and from the north and south of Luzon.
NLEx Corp. is a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Investment Corp.’s toll road arm Metro Pacific Tollways Corp.
Recently, the company tapped construction company Leighton Asia-Philippine Branch for the development of the third Candaba viaduct, which is seen to cost P6.1 billion.
The Manuel Pangilinan-led company inked the agreement with Leighton to design and construct the 5-kilometer infrastructure project.
A new bridge will be constructed in the middle of the two existing viaducts to enhance motorist experience. The construction is set to start within the first quarter and to be finished by next year.