MPTC offers P2 billion to finance NLEX-Skyway link

Elijah Felice Rosales - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Metro Pacific Group is willing to finance the interconnection bridge linking the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and Skyway to provide motorists with a seamless route between the north and south of Metro Manila.

The Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) yesterday expressed willingness to take over the 1.2 kilometer interconnection structure between the NLEX Connector Road and Skyway that the government awarded to San Miguel Corp.

MPTC chief finance officer Christopher Lizo said the firm has informed the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) of its willingness to spend for the infrastructure.

Once built, the interconnection bridge would link the NLEX Connector Road with Skyway to the benefit of motorists. Further, the infrastructure would enable motorists to reach the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) from NLEX without having to pass through service roads.

MPTC expects up to 3,000 Class 3 vehicles, mostly trucks, to use the interconnection structure daily given that they are prohibited from using the Skyway. The infrastructure would also allow truckers to cross the NLEX Connector Road and exit in Buendia without having to pass through congested streets in Sta. Mesa, Manila.

“That infrastructure would impact mainly Class 3 units — the trucks — because it’s intent is to allow them to go to our road and go down in Buendia,” Lizo said.

“We expect around 5,000 motorists to use that every day, of which 3,000 are Class 3 vehicles,” he said.

MPTC unit NLEX Corp. eyes to open the España Interchange of the NLEX Connector Road this December and the Sta. Mesa Interchange in April 2023, but the firm laments the interconnection structure to Skyway has yet to make any progress.

Based on estimates, MPTC would have to shell out at least P2 billion should it receive the concession to build the infrastructure with the approval of the DPWH. At present, SMC is contracted to put up the interconnection structure through a tripartite deal with the Toll Regulatory Board and DPWH.

The eight kilometer NLEX Connector Road, when completed, is projected to serve around 35,000 motorists every day through its four-lane expressway. It hosts three interchanges at C3 Road in Caloocan City and España Boulevard, and in Magsaysay Boulevard in Manila City.

When completed, the NLEX Connector Road is estimated to trim travel time between NLEX and SLEX by about 60 percent.

The NLEX Connector Road — a public-private partnership between the DPWH and NLEX Corp. — forms part of the Luzon Spine Expressway Network, a series of highways that seek to lessen travel time between Ilocos Region and Bicol Region to nine hours.


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