Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Proposed expressway link approved by gov’t

A. M. P. Dagcutan

THE PUBLIC WORKS department has accepted an unsolicited proposal, submitted by the local unit of Hong Kong’s First Pacific Co. Ltd., to build a 13.2-kilometer elevated road connecting Luzon’s two main expressways.

In a statement, Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. -- a unit of listed Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPTC) -- said the formal acceptance was signed last Saturday by Public Works Secretary Victor A. Domingo in ceremonies opening a new road going to the North Luzon Expressway.

This means the "connector road" project is already at step one of the approval process for build-operate-transfer contracts, Undersecretary Romeo S. Momo yesterday said.

It, however, "has to be discussed further by the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) and MPTC," he added.

The project, which will link the North Luzon and South Luzon expressways (NLEx and SLEx) using the right of way owned by Philippine National Railways in Manila, will cost P17 billion. Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corp., the vehicle for the project, expects construction to start by 2012.

The 13.2-kilometer elevated road will be built over railway tracks within the Manila central business district, starting at the end of the NLEx at the C-3 interchange in Caloocan, to the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 1 at Senator Gil Puyat Ave. in Makati.

"The connector road is a much-awaited urban expressway project that will solve the traffic congestion and change the landscape of Metro Manila. It is planned to be a legacy infrastructure in the heart of the city that will utilize the hollow core technology -- a new construction system for elevated structures which are proven to be the safe and efficient methods of construction," Metro Pacific Tollways President and CEO Ramon S. Fernandez said in the statement.

Mr. Fernandez later told reporters the project still had to be approved by the National Economic and Development Authority under a process that will be taken over by the next administration.

The NLEx-SLEx connector road will have ramps at España Boulevard, Quirino Ave., and San Andres, all in Manila. There will be elevated roads and a bridge over the Pasig River. Eventually, both tollways will be connected to Manila’s North Harbor, which is being run by a joint venture between Metro Pacific and Harbour Centre Port Terminal, Inc.

Metro Pacific Tollways said the project would start in 2012 after Segments 9 and 10 of the NLEx are completed.

Segment 9 is a four-lane, three-kilometer expressway connecting the NLEx to MacArthur Highway in Valenzuela while Segment 10 will connect the NLEx to Manila’s Port Area through a four-lane, five-kilometer elevated road from MacArthur Highway.

Metro Pacific, the local unit of First Pacific which also partly owns Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), is implementing P38 billion worth of tollway projects, starting with Segment 8.1, a six-lane expressway from Mindanao Avenue to the NLEx.

It is also investing in the Skyway Stage 2 project, a P10-billion, seven-kilometer expressway extending the elevated road to Alabang from Bicutan.

Mediaquest Holdings, Inc., a unit of the Beneficial Trust Fund of PLDT, has a minority stake in BusinessWorld.


  1. RP is still holding on to classical planning principles of highway expansion when the Western and developed world realizes that this rational of city building has been ultimately flawed!

    As what happened to every urban expressway in this planet, the building of this expressway will lead to further congestion, a degradation of the urban fabric and the wrong direction Manila should be taking in order to be building a world class city.

  2. Let's have optimistic view regarding this project. The NLEX-SLEX Connector may cut the travel time and traffic congestion when completed.