Construction of NLEX Connector second section starts

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Groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the second section of NLEX Connector on December 14. Photo from NLEX Corp.
  • Construction of the second section of North Luzon Expressway Connector, between the future España and Sta. Mesa interchanges in Manila, officially begins
  • The Sta. Mesa section will pave the way to connect NLEX and South Luzon Expressway through the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3
  • It will benefit at least 35,000 motorists per day and boosting economic activities in Manila, Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas and the surrounding areas in the north and south

Construction of the second section of North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Connector, between the future España and Sta. Mesa interchanges in Manila, officially begins as the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and NLEX Corporation lead the groundbreaking ceremony for the remaining three kilometers of the elevated expressway.

The Sta. Mesa section will pave the way to connect NLEX and South Luzon Expressway through the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3, benefitting at least 35,000 motorists per day and boosting economic activities in Manila, Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas and the surrounding areas in the north and south.

Earlier, NLEX Corp. signed an agreement with China Road and Bridge Corporation for the civil works contract of the project.

The entire NLEX Connector, spanning 8 km, uses portions of the Philippine National Railway (PNR) right-of-way. It extends the expressway southward from the NLEX Harbor Link Caloocan Interchange, 5thAvenue/C3 Road passing through España Boulevard, R. Magsaysay Boulevard, and eventually connecting to the Skyway Stage 3 within the vicinity of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) in Sta. Mesa, Manila.

“We are committed to provide the necessary right-of-way for this project as we target to complete this segment by end of 2022. Upon completion, the NLEX Connector will enable Manila Ports to have a seamless north-south connection and provide further convenience to motorists with the decongestion of major thoroughfares like EDSA and C5,” Public Works Secretary Roger Mercado said.

The NLEX Connector is expected to improve mobility because it will divert cargo trucks to the elevated expressway, thereby decongesting local roads. It is also seen to benefit truckers because the route is available 24/7, without a truck ban.

Moreover, the NLEX Connector will enable the supply chain and logistics sector to achieve 24/7 unhampered delivery of goods, vital contributors in mitigating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.

“This new elevated expressway hopes to support the country’s economic recovery by helping reduce traffic congestion in the metro and offering those with private cars and commercial vehicles ease of travel,” Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) president and chief executive officer Rodrigo Franco said. NLEX is a subsidiary of MPTC.

Franco added “the project will enhance accessibility to international airports such as NAIA [Ninoy Aquino International Airport] and Clark, help generate jobs, and stimulate development between Metro Manila and its surrounding provinces in the north and south.”

Once opened, around 35,000 motorists are expected to traverse this new expressway which runs mostly above the PNR alignment.

Meanwhile, construction of the first 5-km section of the project between Caloocan and España interchanges continues to progress with close to 60% completion.