New expressway to benefit Nueva Ecija motorists
After years of enduring heavy traffic to and from Nueva Ecija, motorists can now heave a sigh of relief with the construction of an expressway that would link the province to major toll roads and highways in northern and central Luzon.
Called the Central Luzon Expressway (CLEx), the 64-kilometer road will be built from the Hacienda Luisita interchange of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) in Tarlac City to San Jose City in Nueva Ecija. It will be built in two phases.
Reports from the regional Philippine Information Agency (PIA) said the investment coordination committee of the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) approved the P34.8-billion CLEx project in December last year.
It said the project’s first phase, which runs from Tarlac City to Cabanatuan City, would be funded by a possible loan assistance from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The PIA report quoted Bulacan Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado, chair of the committee on infrastructure development of the Regional Development Council (RDC), as saying that the project’s second phase will be implemented through a build-operate-transfer (BOT) scheme. This phase runs from Cabanatuan to San Jose.
When completed, the CLEx will link Maharlika Highway in Cagayan Valley and the main highway to Aurora province to the SCTEx, North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) and the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEx).
The CLEx will pass through parts of Tarlac City and La Paz town in Tarlac; Zaragoza, Aliaga, Cabanatuan City, Talavera, Sto. Domingo, and the Science City of Muñoz before it ends in San Jose, all in Nueva Ecija.
In a recent meeting of the RDC, PIA reports said Aurora Gov. Bellaflor Angara-Castillo supported the project, saying it would help boost the transport of goods and push the development of the eastern part of Luzon.
Zambales Gov. Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. asked his fellow governors in the region to unite and press the government for more infrastructure improvements in Central Luzon, saying the region is among the major economic drivers of the country.
Ebdane, a former secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways, said good roads would help drive tourism in the region, which is strategically located because of its proximity to Metro Manila.
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