NLEX Corp. is willing to build the 1.2-kilometer (km) link that is under the concession agreement between the government and San Miguel Corp. for the Metro Manila Skyway System.
NLEX Corp. is the toll road operator and builder of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and Subic–Clark–Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX). It is a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC).
In a briefing on the NLEX Connector’s update, MPTC Chief Financial Officer Christopher Daniel C. Lizo expressed the group’s interest to build the interconnection structure.
“The Toll Regulatory Board can always amend their concession. The government can award to us the 1.2-km interconnection link,” he said.
According to NLEX Corp., the link is a vital part of the 8-km NLEX Connector project for it to be connected to the Skyway.
If awarded, MPTC expects the additional 1.2-km road to cost P2 billion, which will increase the total cost of the entire 9.2-km road to around P19 billion.
Edward F. Castro, NLEX Corp. head engineer for the NLEX Connector project, said that the interconnection link and the connector road should have already been finished.
“Lahat naman kami sumobra sa timeframe because of the pandemic, kasi lahat ng usapan prior to pandemic, (All of us exceeded the timeframe because of the pandemic because all of the talks happened prior to the pandemic),” Mr. Castro said.
“Sana kapag natapos itong connector road, matapos din sila to interconnect the two projects, (We hope that when we complete the connector road, they will also finish so that we can interconnect the two projects),” he added.
NLEX Corp. is targeting to open the first section of the connector road by December. The section will span from Caloocan to España. The company has already acquired 97% of the right-of-way needed for the first section and 86% for the second section.
The second section — Magsaysay Blvd. to Sta. Mesa — is expected to be fully opened by mid-February of 2023. The entire project is seen to be completed by mid-April of 2023.
The connector project aims to decongest the major thoroughfares in Manila such as España Blvd., Abad Santos Ave., Rizal Ave., and Lacson Ave. It is also expected to reduce travel time from NLEX to South Luzon Expressway from two hours to 20 minutes. — Justine Irish D. Tabile