NLEX pushes P20 billion Phase 3 plan
Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) is keen on pursuing the third phase of its North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) project, a P20-billion toll road that would support the increase in economic activities in Pampanga, Zambales and Bataan.
The planned extension is a 40-kilometer expressway that would extend NLEX to Bataan.
MPTC president and chief executive officer Rodrigo Franco said the project is part of the concession awarded to MPTC unit NLEX Corp. in 1998.
“That is part of the concession agreement but we haven’t started it yet. In the concession it says it starts in Apalit and will go westward to Subic direction. The initial contemplation was it would connect to Subic-Tipo, but as you know the Tipo to Dinalupihan was already constructed via SCTEX so maybe we’ll just need to connect now to Dinalupihan,” he said.
Franco said MPTC is keen on pushing through with the NLEX Phase 3, but a new alignment for the project would have to be finalized first.
“Yes we plan to pursue it, in due time,” Franco said.
“We’re hoping that the final alignment will be approved. The project will be given the greenlight, and then the right of way acquisition will commence,” he said.
Franco said it is possible for the project to start in the near term, but construction could take time given because of design and right of way acquisition considerations. The project will be passing through a mountainous terrain.
Nonetheless, the MPTC official believes the project is a must.
“It’s implementation was also pushed back because SCTEX partially served that corridor already, but we think eventually we still need it, specially when Clark develops and that portion becomes more active. Along the way it would also pass through areas like Guagua and Lubao which are also very important and rapidly developing,” Franco said.
“Eventually there will be more economic activity in Subic. And also, don’t forget Bataan is going to develop with its export processing zone so that road will actually shorten travel time to Bataan,” he said.
NLEX is part of the portfolio of projects of MPTC, the tollways arm of infrastructure conglomerate Metro Pacific Investment Corp.
NLEX is currently implementing P7.7 billion worth of projects to help alleviate traffic congestion in Metro Manila and key areas of the NLEX-SCTEX network.
The projects under construction include new interchanges, bridges, and expressway lanes.