Work begins for NLEX-SLEX Connector road
Work has begun for an elevated toll road meant to trim travel time from the North to the South Luzon Expressways to just 20 minutes from the current two-hour drive.
On Tuesday, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar awarded the contract to construction firm D.M. Consunji, Inc. (DMCI) for a four-lane elevated toll road beginning from Caloocan City.
The connector road to the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) stretches eight kilometers and will traverse C3 Road all the way to España Boulevard in Manila. It will eventually link to the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 via Sta. Mesa, which will then serve as the connection to the South Luzon Expressway.
The Skyway project, another elevated toll road, is up for completion early 2020.
DMCI bagged the contract for the Caloocan to España segment, and will follow the existing land with right-of-way via the Philippine National Railways, the Department of Public Works and Highways said in a statement.
The connector road is quoted to cost ₱23.3 billion, with the civil works contract priced at ₱15.7 billion, according to the DPWH website. Construction is targeted to end by May 2021.
The Manila North Tollways Corporation submitted the unsolicited proposal, which was approved in 2016. The same firm operates NLEX.
Villar's team inspected the area which will be called the Caloocan Interchange, where the NLEX Harbor Link Segment and the R-10 roads will converge. Some beams have already been erected in the area, with a 20-month target rolling.
Villar said the connector road will be opened in 2021, and will "significantly cut" travel time from NLEX to SLEX from the current two-hour drive.
"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," the Cabinet official added.
Once completed, the elevated connector road is expected to take some 35,000 motorists, including cargo trucks coming from the Manila port, off EDSA and existing thoroughfares in Metro Manila.