President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. said the 8-kilometer segment of the elevated North Luzon Expressway-South Luzon Expressway (Nlex-Slex) Connector project in Metro Manila is expected to be finally completed before his second State of the Nation Address in July.
Marcos made the announcement during the inauguration of the first part of the project of the Connector expressway from Caloocan to España, Manila on Monday.
Spanning 5 kilometers, the so-called section 1 of the project is expected to reduce travel time between Caloocan to España in just five minutes.
“Together with the España-Magsaysay Section of this Connector—which is targeted for completion in June this year—the Caloocan-España section will finally connect the Nlex with the Slex,” Marcos said.
The second part of the connector expressway is already 42 percent complete as of March 23, 2023, according to the Presidential Communications Office.
The President urged the Department of Transportation and the Nlex Corporation to ensure the project will be completed on time.
Once fully completed, the P23-billion Connector project will serve around 35,000 vehicles daily and help reduce traffic congestion in Metro Manila.
“The Nlex Connector will also contribute to the ease of movement of cargo and goods from north to south and vice versa, especially those coming from the Port of Manila,” Marcos said.
“It will provide great relief to the logistics sector since there will be an alternative route for truckers who wish to avoid the congestion in the main roads within the metropolis,” he added.
The President assured his administration would continue to build similar infrastructure projects to create a “highly interconnected road network” nationwide under his “Build, Better, More” initiative.
“This road project will form an integral part of the Luzon Spine Expressway Network, which in turn is a component of the Philippine High Standard Highway Network,” Marcos said.
For its part, Nlex Corp. said might be able to finish the second section of the Nlex Connector by the first half of 2023, should the government be able to deliver the necessary right-of-way (ROW) for the construction of the road.
Luigi Bautista, the company’s president, said the group is gearing for the completion of Section 2 of the Nlex Connector for June, noting that the delivery ROW is just 20 percent shy from
“Provided that we get all the right of way from the DPWH, we think we will be able to complete it by the end of June—Section 2 that’s from España all the way to Magsaysay interchange,” he said.
Currently, the said section, which runs between España and the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, is at a 42 percent accomplishment rate. The government has so far delivered 80 percent of the ROW needed for the construction of the 2.75-kilometer section.
“We still have three months to go,” Bautista said. “If they are able to deliver all of the remaining right of way by April, we would be able to finish by June.”
Nlex Corp. has completed the first 5.15-kilometer section of the Nlex Connector. The said segment runs between C3 in Caloocan and Espana, Manila.
On Monday, no less than President Marcos Jr. led the inauguration of the first section. Joining him are Nlex Corp. executives and Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime J. Bautista.
With Lorenz S. Marasigan
Image credits: PNA / ALFRED FRIAS