NLEX Corporation has formally awarded the contract for the first five kilometers (km) of the NLEX Connector road project to construction company D.M. Consunji, Inc. (DMCI).
The P8-billion contract for the first phase, awarded on November 5, covers the main civil works for the Caloocan-España section, which runs from Grace Park, Caloocan City to España St., Sampaloc, Manila.
The NLEX Connector will continue the NLEX southward from NLEX Harbor Link Segment 10 from the new Caloocan Interchange. The project will utilize portions of the existing right-of-way of the Philippine National Railways (PNR).
The PNR ROW will be shared by the NLEX Connector project and the North South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project, which is currently also under construction.
Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar said they are “committed to accelerating the ROW acquisition in order to build traffic solutions for our motorists.”
The full NLEX Connector, which will span a total of eight kilometers, will be an all-weather, all-vehicle-class elevated expressway that will traverse the new Caloocan Interchange on 5th Avenue/C3 Road in Caloocan City, pass through España, and eventually link up with the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 at Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Sta. Mesa, Manila.
“Upon full completion in 2021, the NLEX Connector will significantly cut travel time from NLEX to SLEX by at least 60 percent. Instead of the usual 2 hours, travel time will now be reduced to about 20 minutes. It will also provide improved accessibility for cargo trucks bound for the Manila Ports (North and South Harbor) and the international airports such as NAIA [Ninoy Aquino International Airport] and Clark,” Villar said.
NLEX Corp. president and general manager Luigi Bautista said: “We are confident that our team, our contractor, and our partners in government will work together to deliver high quality elevated expressway. We are looking forward to provide further convenience to our motorists as the NLEX Connector aims to decongest major thoroughfares such as EDSA and C5.”
Seen as a crucial infrastructure needed to solve traffic congestion in Metro Manila, the NLEX Connector is also expected to stimulate economic development in Manila, Caloocan, Malabon and Navotas, as well as their surrounding areas.
Around 35,000 motorists, especially cargo trucks, are expected to benefit from the project, spared from having to use Metro Manila’s congested city roads since they will traverse their routes mostly above the PNR alignment.