Build, Build, Build: Manila to QC in 15 minutes

Published October 27, 2018, 12:05 AM

by Anna Mae Lamentillo

NIGHT OWL

Anna Mae Yu Lamentillo
Anna Mae Yu Lamentillo

Whenever I go to UP Diliman to attend my evening classes at the UP College of Law,  I would need to set aside at least 1 hour and 30 mins for travel from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)’s Central Office in Port Area. When the NLEX Harbor Link Segment, a 5.65-km elevated expressway traversing Valenzuela, Malabon, and Caloocan City is completed, travel time from Manila to Quezon City will be reduced to only 15 minutes.

Now that DPWH has delivered 100% of the right-of-way (ROW) between Karuhatan in Valenzuela City to C3 Road in Caloocan City, NLEX Harbor Link Segment, which was nothing but a blueprint — is now turning into a reality.

When DPWH Secretary Mark Villar assumed office, he made a number of reforms in the mode by which right of way is acquired.

For instance, he instructed the creation of a right-of-way task force for every priority project, revised outdated department orders through the creation of inter-agency technical working groups (e.g., DICT-NTC-DPWH TWG for the telecoms sector), required weekly and bi-monthly ROW status updates and reports, and issued Department Order (DO) 65, which delegated and decentralized all ROW approval authority to the regional level and to the PPPS director for TRB and PPP projects, among others.

The reforms led to significant improvement. Worth noting is the fact that before DO 65 was instituted, there were only 34 lots that were acquired out of the 1,476 lots and improvements needed to complete the project. In other words, 94% of the 528 lots and 98% of the 947 improvements were acquired only in a span of over one year.

The first section of the NLEX Harbor Link Segment 10, a 5.65-km elevated expressway traversing the NLEX from MacArthur Highway in Karuhatan, Valenzuela City, passing through Malabon City and C3 Road in Caloocan City, is now 83% complete. To meet the December deadline, construction is now at 24/7.

The second section of the project, a 2.6-kilometer R-10 section of the NLEX Harbor Link Segment 10 connecting Mindanao Avenue to Navotas, has already started August of this year and is expected to be completed by 2019.

This would not have been possible if the 9.7-km Radial Road 10 (R-10) road project has not been completed. Since December of last year, the road stretching from Delpan Bridge in Tondo, Manila to the mouth of the Malabon River at Bangkulasi Bridge, C-4 Road in Navotas City is accessible to the public.

 
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