NLEx Harbor Link expressway breaks ground; new road seen to ease Metro traffic


04:19 PM February 7th, 2013

By: Kristine Felisse Mangunay, Paolo Montecillo, February 7th, 2013 04:19 PM

MANILA, Philippines—Motorists may have a reason to celebrate.

If all goes well, in three year’s time, new routes that link McArthur Highway in Valenzuela City and C-3 Road in Caloocan and Navotas with the Northern Luzon Expressway will be at their disposal, a project that, when completed, will help ease traffic on major thoroughfares such as Edsa, according to Manila North Tollways Corp. officials.

In groundbreaking ceremonies held Thursday on the Northern Luzon Expressway (NLEx), MNTC authorities announced the start of construction of the Harbor Link, which they hope will make NLEx more accessible to motorists.

One of the link’s components, Segment 9, is set to be built by the end of February, Kiko Dagohoy, MNTC media specialist, said.

The 2.1-kilometer road will connect the NLEx Cloverleaf and McArthur Highway.

Segment 10, which is a 5.65-kilometer road that will connect the McArthur Interchange with C3 Road, is set to be constructed in two years time, according to Dagohoy.

“So all in all, both segments (are expected to be completed) in three years,” he said.

According to MNTC president Rodrigo Franco, the primary aim of the construction of both segments is to expand the NLEx to help ease the traffic in other major thoroughfares.

Upon the completion of Segment 9, traffic is expected to be reduced at the NLEx Valenzuela Interchange, and the stretch between Edsa-Balintawak and Edsa-Cubao in Quezon City, he said.

Dagohoy added that motorists going to the Port Area can opt to use Segment 10 as soon as it is completed, instead of passing through Manila.

“So the traffic (there) can be reduced,” he said.

He said the total cost of the entire project was P10 billion.

He added that this would be jointly shouldered by the MNTC (70 percent) and the government (30 percent).

Completion of the multibillion-peso road project is expected to drive economic growth in Caloocan, Malabon, Valenzuela, and Quezon City.

“This road will lead to more efficient cargo distribution and meet the need for faster and more convenient travel,” said Ramoncito Fernandez, president of MNTC’s parent firm, Metro Pacific Tollways Corp.

MNTC president Rodrigo Franco for his part said the Harbor Link road would attract 30,000 new vehicles to the NLEx, as well as create 10,000 jobs while to roads are being built.

“We hope to be able to contribute to the robust economic growth of the country under the Aquino administration,” Franco said.

He said the Harbor Link road would allow truckers and logistics firms to travel out of the port area to Northern and Central Luzon at any time of day without violating Metro Manila’s 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. truck ban.

“Today, trucks have to exit through Balintawak and take public roads to get to the port area. Once this is complete, they can go straight to the port area. This will lead to the more timely delivery of goods, as well as lower accident incidence,” Franco said.

The Harbor Link road would also form part of the NLEx-SLEx (Southern Luzon Expressway) Connector Road that MPTC has proposed to build. MPTC’s proposal will undergo a Swiss challenge, where other interested parties will be given the chance to submit better offers, before the end of the first semester.

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