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Business

NLEX connector Sta. Mesa section breaks ground

Richmond Mercurio - The Philippine Star
NLEX connector Sta. Mesa section breaks ground
Photo shows (from left) China Road and Bridges Corp. general manager Ren Xiaopeng, PNR assistant GM Ces Lauta, DPWH Undersecretary Catalina Cabral, DPWH Secretary Roger Mercado, Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. president and CEO Rodrigo Franco, NLEX Corp. president and GM Luigi Bautista, DPWH Undersecretary Rafael Yabut, Toll Regulatory Board executive director Alvin Carullo at the groundbreaking for the Sta. Mesa section of the NLEX connector.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Construction of the second section of the NLEX Connector project between the future España and Sta. Mesa interchanges in Manila has commenced, with its completion targeted by the end of next year.

NLEX Corp. and the Department of Public Works and Highways yesterday broke ground for the three-kilometer section, which will complete the P23.3-billion NLEX Connector.

NLEX has also signed an agreement with China Road and Bridges Corp. for the civil works contract of the project.

“The Metro Pacific Group actively contributes to accelerating infrastructure development in the Philippines. This new elevated expressway hopes to support the country’s economic recovery by helping reduce traffic congestion in the metro and offering those with private cars and commercial vehicles ease of travel,” Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. president Rodrigo Franco said.

Franco said the project would enhance accessibility to international airports such as NAIA and Clark, help generate jobs, and stimulate development between Metro Manila and its surrounding provinces in the north and south.

The entire NLEX Connector, spanning eight kilometers, uses portions of the PNR right-of-way.

It extends the expressway southward from the NLEX Harbor Link Caloocan Interchange, 5th Avenue/C3 Road passing through España Blvd., R. Magsaysay Blvd., and eventually connecting to the Skyway Stage 3 within the vicinity of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Sta. Mesa, Manila.

DPWH Secretary Roger Mercado said the government is committed to provide the necessary right-of-way for the NLEX Connector project, with the target of completing the second segment by end of 2022.

“Upon completion, the NLEX Connector will enable Manila Ports to have a seamless north-south connection and provide further convenience to motorists with the decongestion of major thoroughfares like EDSA and C5,” Mercado said.

NLEX said construction of the first five-kilometer section of the project between Caloocan and España interchanges continues to progress with close to 60 percent completion.

The segment is targeted to be finished by the second quarter of next year.

“Together with our government partners, we remain steadfast in ramping up this high impact elevated expressway that will benefit the motoring public and nearby communities,” NLEX president Luigi Bautista said.

The NLEX Connector is crucial in improving mobility as it will divert cargo trucks to the elevated expressway, thereby decongesting local roads.

This will be beneficial for truckers because the route is available 24/7, without a truck ban.

The project will enable supply chain and logistics sector to achieve 24/7 unhampered delivery of goods, which are vital contributors in mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy

Once opened, around 35,000 motorists are expected to traverse the new expressway.

NLEX

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