Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Soon-to-open 8-km SLEx extension seen to cut travel time


THE NEW 8-kilometer stretch of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) from Calamba, Laguna to the Southern Tagalog Access Road (STAR) Tollway in Sto. Tomas, Batangas, known as Toll Road 3, was inaugurated yesterday and should be open to motorists within the month, a top official of South Luzon Tollways Corp. (SLTC) told reporters.

"After we get the tollway insured and the certification to operate from the Toll Regulatory Board, we are set to open the tollway within the month," SLTC and tollway operator Manila Toll Expressway Systems, Inc. (MATES) President Isaac S. David said on the sidelines of the toll road’s inauguration in Calamba.

The new SLEx stretch -- with four lanes, six bridges, three overpasses and a flyover -- is expected to enable faster travel between Metro Manila and the Port of Batangas. In a statement, SLTC said 60% of the country’s exports are transported through SLEx.

"[Toll Road 3] will help improve tourism and economic growth in the South, as far down as Visayas and Mindanao, since passengers and cargo can now disembark at the Port of Batangas and travel through Luzon on SLEx and other expressways now in the process of linking up. The toll road provides the missing link between SLEx and STAR tollways starting in Barangay Turbina in Calamba, Laguna and ends in Barangay San Rafael in Sto. Tomas, Batangas, where it connects with the STAR Tollway alignment," the statement read.

"Travel time from Sto. Tomas, Batangas to the Alabang Viaduct is estimated to take less than 30 minutes," it said.

SLTC added that the new stretch will be monitored by cameras mounted on high masts and connected to an operations control center.

SLTC said that project cost was initially estimated at P8.5 billion, but has reached P11 billion due
to rising prices of supplies during construction.

SLTC, under a concession obtained in 2006 to rehabilitate, expand, operate and maintain SLEx, took over the operation and maintenance last May from the Philippine National Construction Corp. (PNCC).
SLTC Chairman Dato Azmil Khalid, also president and chief executive officer of Malaysian-led MTD Capital Bhd that has a stake in MATES with SLTC and PNCC, told reporters that their eyes are now on SLEx’s fourth component, Toll Road 4 (TR4), which will extend the expressway to Lucena City in Quezon province.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo graced the TR3 inauguration and the TR4 groundbreaking. -- AMPD


  1. ang tagal na nito. hindi parin ba tapus? nakakainis na sa calamba. nagkaroon pa ng SM calamba!