P7.9B Candaba third Viaduct completion eyed for Nov 2024

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P7.9B Candaba third Viaduct completion eyed for Nov 2024
Candaba third viaduct ground breaking. Photo from toll operator NLEX Corp.
  • The nearly P8 billion Candaba third viaduct between Pampanga and Bulacan should be completed by November 2024, says NLEX Corp.
  • The Candaba 3rd Viaduct involves the construction of a five-kilometer bridge that will run between the two existing viaducts
  • Once completed, the structure will increase the road capacity of the entire Candaba Viaduct from three lanes without shoulders to three lanes with inner and outer shoulders in each direction

The P7.89-billion Candaba third Viaduct between Pampanga and Bulacan is eyed for completion by November 2024, operator NLEX Corp said in a statement.

The five-kilometer Viaduct, which broke ground on June 21, entails the construction of a new bridge in the middle of the two existing viaducts.

Once completed, NLEX Corp. said the structure will increase road capacity of the entire Candaba Viaduct from three lanes without shoulders to three lanes with inner and outer shoulders in each direction.

The tollroad operator noted that these lanes and shoulders will be wide, thus boosting the safety and convenience of motorists using the viaduct.

“This project will not only increase the capacity of the 5-km Candaba Viaduct but will ultimately improve safety and convenience of the motorists, as well as aid in the acceleration and growth of trade and commerce in Central Luzon,” Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. president and chief executive Rogelio Singson said during the groundbreaking.

The Candaba 3rd Viaduct will be built using green and sustainable engineering practices and will comply with the country’s latest bridge design requirements. It will have piers at every 20 meters, with each pier being supported by two columns and two bored piles that will strengthen the structure amid the swampy condition of the natural ground underneath the viaduct.

“This new mobility project will offer easy journeys and make travel safer for the public traveling between Metro Manila and Central and North Luzon, as there will be a new structure to augment the existing ones and will safely allow the speed limit to increase to 60 to 80 kilometers per hour from the current 40 to 60 kilometers per hour,” said NLEX Corp. president and general manager Luigi Bautista.

“Upon completion, Class 3 vehicles or large trucks will be directed to the new bridge so that the old structures will be relieved of heavy loads,” said Bautista.

Bautista also highlighted that, based on previous studies, the construction of the third viaduct is necessary as the current structures are aging and operating at reduced capacity.

At the same time, he assured the motoring public that their travel comfort will not be sacrificed as the majority of the works will not affect the current operations and traffic flow in the two existing viaduct.

The construction site will manned by competent engineers and management teams to ensure efficiency and safety, NLEX Corp. noted.

The Candaba Viaduct has been a vital link for motorists traveling between Metro Manila and the provinces in Central and North Luzon for over 50 years now. It has withstood natural disasters such as severe typhoons and extreme earthquakes.

Since 2005, the tollway company has been upgrading the viaduct. Some of the works completed were pavement resurfacing; bridge link slab, girder, and deck replacement; girder and column strengthening; and construction of lay-bys or emergency stops in both northbound and southbound directions of the bridge.

In 2020, the company started implementing stringent anti-overloading measures, such as enforcing the 33-ton gross vehicle weight limit on the southbound viaduct to further ensure the safety and long-term serviceability of the bridge.

Since last August, all vehicles weighing 33 tons (12-wheelers and above) have been temporarily banned from using the southbound carriageway of the Candaba Viaduct for an emergency safety upgrade and until a new viaduct is completed. The toll operator said the safety upgrade will ensure the integrity of the viaduct for the safety of motorists.