2nd NLEx-SLEx link set for construction
A second elevated expressway that will bridge the northern and southern parts of Metro Manila, the country’s congested capital district, is set to begin construction by November this year, according to its project proponent.
Luigi Bautista, president and general manager of toll road concessionaire NLEx Corp., said construction firm D.M Consunji Inc. had been selected to build the first section of the 8-kilometer “connector road.”
Bautista told reporters the first bored pile, part of the foundation of the toll road, would be installed in the second week of November.
“Between today and the second week of November, DMCI will start preparing for mobilization,” he said.
The P23.3-billion project would extend the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) in C3 Road, Caloocan City through PUP Sta. Mesa, Manila, where it would then connect to Manila’s southern toll road network that included the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx).
Travel time between the northern and southern portions of the capital district typically takes two hours or more as motorists weave through traffic-snarled streets.
Once finished, the connector road would cut the drive to about 20 minutes, the Department of Public Works and Highways said.
Bautista said the connector road project, which would mainly run above the train tracks operated by the Philippine National Railways, was divided into two sections. The first 5-km section would start from C-3 and end in España, Manila. This would take about 20 months to complete, Bautista said.
NLEx Corp. planned to launch the bidding process for the connector road’s second phase next month.
“By around February next year we would have appointed the contractor for section two,” he said. “We will open it by phases,” he added.
NLEx Corp. is a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., which operates the NLEx, Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway and the Cavite Expressway. The companies are part of infrastructure giant Metro Pacific Investments Corp., led by businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan.
The connector road project was proposed during the Arroyo administration over a decade ago but its construction was delayed throughout the term of President Aquino due to a series of reviews and policy shifts on the mode of implementation. The project held its groundbreaking ceremony on March 1 this year.
It is Metro Manila’s second NLEx-SLEx elevated expressway after San Miguel Corp.’s Skyway Stage 3, which would open during the first quarter of 2020.