By Emmie V. Abadilla
The construction of a new NLEX Interchange near the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan formally started on February 1, 2019.
The first phase of the project consists of the construction of two additional lanes in the existing Bocaue Municipal Road, a new 80-linear meter 2×2 lane bridge crossing the NLEX and the rehabilitation of the inner road of Philippine Area for a total length of 1.93-kms.
This road segment will begin near the Bocaue Municipal Hall and will reach Sta. Maria, Bulacan bypassing the heavily congested Governor F. Halili Avenue in Bocaue.
Forming the second phase is the improvement of a 1.91-km road from Manila North Road (MNR) or MacArthur Highway to Bocaue Municipal Road and the completion of the southbound acceleration and deceleration lanes for vehicles headed to Philippine Arena.
The last phase covers the construction of a 1.3-km road from the Philippine Arena to the existing Patubig Road in Marilao, Bulacan.
The DPWH will also build a new NLEX west service road to serve local traffic between Bocaue and Marilao.
“The new NLEX Interchange is regarded as one of the government’s traffic decongestion projects aimed at improving the Bulacan road network particularly Bocaue, Sta. Maria, Pandi, Norzagaray, San Jose Del Monte, and Marilao as well as boosting the economic activities in nearby communities,” Secretary Mark Villar of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) remarked during yesterday’s groundbreaking.
With the completion of the first phase of project targeted in October this year, the new NLEX interchange is expected to further improve the accessibility of the Philippine Arena, which was tapped to host the grand opening ceremony of the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in November.
The Philippine Arena is touted as the world’s largest indoor arena with a maximum seating capacity of 55,000.
For his part, NLEX Corporation Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said “the NLEX remains committed to supporting the government’s infrastructure program as it provides hassle-free travel convenience for the expressway customers.”
“The NLEX is also keen on promoting important destinations such as the Philippine Arena which will be a prominent venue for international sports, tourism, and entertainment events.”