The North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Harbor Link elevated section between the new Caloocan Interchange, C3 Road/5th Avenue and new Navotas Interchange was opened to motorists and freight carriers on June 15, allowing motorists coming from the Mindanao Toll Plaza in Quezon City to reach Port Area in Manila in 15 to 20 minutes.
“By bringing NLEX closer to the country’s central shipping gateway, we expect to speed up transport of goods as well as increased economic activities in Metro Manila and North and Central Luzon regions,” concessionaire NLEX Corporation president and general manager J. Luigi L. Bautista said.
The new section will introduce an alternative route for motorists, especially truckers, currently affected by traffic choke points along Quezon Avenue, EDSA, and A. Bonifacio in Manila.
Cargo trucks will have 24/7 access as there is no truck ban along NLEX, allowing faster travel and quicker turnaround times for commercial vehicles and unhampered delivery of essential goods to Metro Manila.
The 2.6-kilometer (km) elevated section will expand the NLEX network to the CAMANAVA (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas and Valenzuela) area and eventually to Mel Lopez Boulevard (formerly R10) in Manila.
The new NLEX Harbor Link section features the new Caloocan interchange (with on and off ramps along Grace Park), the new Malabon Exit (with off ramp on Dagat-Dagatan Avenue) and the new Navotas Interchange (with on and off ramps on North Bay Boulevard South).
It lengthens the existing Harbor Link (the 2.42-km Segment 9 between the NLEX Interchange to Brgy. Karuhatan, Valenzuela City and the 5.65-km Segment 10 between Brgy. Karuhatan to the new Caloocan Interchange in Grace Park C3/5th Avenue).
“The expanded NLEX Harbor Link will certainly boost the government’s traffic decongestion efforts in Metro Manila and other major thoroughfares. This will be an alternative route between Quezon City and Manila. From the Mindanao Toll Plaza, motorists may now reach the Port Area in Manila in about 15 to 20 minutes,” Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar said in a statement.
The elevated expressway, envisioned to improve the road sector’s network and eventually upgrade Luzon’s supply chain, is seen to benefit around 30,000 vehicles per day.
“We worked overtime to deliver this piece of infrastructure that our metropolis needs not only to improve driving experience but also to hasten economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) president and chief executive officer Rodrigo Franco said. NLEX Corp. is a subsidiary of MPTC.
Franco added that “the impact of the ECQ [enhanced community quarantine] has been challenging but our commitment never wavered, and our focus remained clear, and that is by resuming our infrastructure projects, we generate jobs and help quickly restart business activities.”
The project was supposed to open earlier but opening was moved due to restrictions brought by community quarantines to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Before the year ends, DPWH and NLEX are also targeting the completion of the new exit ramp towards the Navotas Fish Port Complex.