Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Citra revives C-6 project

by Jeremiah F. de Guzman
Mania Standard

Skyway operator Citra Metro Manila Tollways Corp. has renewed its interest to build the ambitious C-6 road project costing an estimated $1 billion.

Chito Borromeo, president of Skyway O and M Corp., a unit of Citra, said the Indonesian company planned to revive the C-6 road project that was deferred due to the financial crisis.

“[C-6] right now is under discussion,” Borromeo said, adding that Citra was open to venturing with other investors to carry out the road project and take a majority control in it.

The planned 50-kilometer C-6 will be constructed from the North Luzon Expressway toll gate in Marilao, Bulacan to Bicutan entrance at the South Luzon Expressway via San Jose del Monte City, Rodriguez (formerly Montalban), San Mateo, Marikina City, Antipolo City, Angono, Taytay, and Taguig.

“It’s going to be quite a large investment [and] requires a large chunk of property,” Borromeo said, adding that the project might have a real estate component to maximize investments.

Borromeo said the firm has not yet estimated the cost of building the project but another official from SomCO said it could be more than $1 billion.

Borromeo said portions of the planned project would require right-of-way on several private properties. “So one has to be more innovative in order to do the project,” Borromeo said.

C-6 was envisioned to be the final and longest of the six semi-circle roads in Metro Manila. The first five circumferential roads (C-1 to C-5), which are linked by 10 radial roads, (R-1 to R-10), and convey traffic from the northern to southern parts of Manila, have already been built.

The C-6 project will be composed of the $600-million Metro Manila Tollway, the 23-km Laguna de Bay Coastal Road and the southern segment of C-6.

C-6 will extend southward along the proposed Laguna de Bay Coastal Road up to Muntinlupa City. It will continue up to the Manila-Cavite Expressway in Cavite province.

If completed, vehicles coming from Bulacan to Laguna or Cavite and vice versa would not have to pass Metro Manila through the highly congested Edsa. This would halve the travel time of those vehicles and ease traffic jams in the metropolis.

Citra, the joint venture between the Citra group of Indonesia and Philippine National Construction Corp., earlier said it was in the lookout for business opportunities in the Philippines to strengthen its presence in the country through the construction and operation of tollway projects.

The Indonesian company currently managing the first phase of the South Metro Manila Tollway that consists of an elevated expressway to Buendia from Bicutan and completing the extension of the first stage.

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