DOTr to open part of Naia expressway; free toll for a month
MANILA, Philippines — Motorists may get some relief from the usual traffic headache en route the Manila airport as government opens the first phase of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway (Naiax) on Sept. 22, with the toll fee waived for a month.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade bared the news at a hearing on the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) budget at the Senate on Wednesday, even acknowledging that the 7.6-km road project was started by the Aquino administration.
“Phase 1 will open this month, I think on the 22nd, and the entire freeway connection up to (Naia) Terminal 3 will all be open before the end of this year. So that before the end of this year, all the flyovers will be open,” Tugade told the Senate committee on finance hearing chaired by Sen. Loren Legarda.
The segment of the flyover that will open next week connects the Macapagal Boulevard to the Naia Terminals 1 and 2.
“For the record, that wasn’t us. [It was the project of] the past administration. The past administration built it, we just finished it and will open it,” he said during the hearing Wednesday morning.
Tugade also announced that motorists may use the flyovers for free for a month. Toll fee for Naiax’s first phase is pegged at P35 to P45.
“I have spoken with the concessionaire. I’m not sure if it’s the time to announce it… the public will enjoy one month free, no toll fees when we open that,” said the official.
“That’s not cheap. We computed it, it is a big sacrifice for our concessionaire,” said Tugade.
Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri welcomed the news, citing how he had to bear a three-hour ride from the airport, which sits on the border of Pasay and Parañaque, to his home in Makati City after returning from a recent flight to Singapore.
“I flew in from Singapore–it was a three-hour flight, and when I arrived in NAIA 3, it took me another three hours to go home to Makati. I could have just gone back to Singapore. I’m glad the Secretary said that. This administration also needs good news,” he said.
The 17.9-billion Naiax project is among the Aquino administration’s major public-private partnership ventures, which aims to decongest traffic on roads surrounding the busy airport complex, including the Macapagal Boulevard, the MIAA Road, and Andrews Avenue.
The San Miguel Corp. conglomerate’s Vertex Tollways Development Inc. handles the project, with DM Consuji Inc. tapped as contractor.
The airport flyover network is estimated to have a capacity of 80,000 per day. CDG
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