By Betheena Unite
NLEX Harbor Link Segment 10, an elevated expressway that will offer an alternate route to about 30,000 motorists from Manila to Quezon City, was finally opened to public Thursday night.
President Duterte led the opening of the new six-lane toll road in Karuhatan, Valenzuela, which can be utilized by vehicles, mostly trucks in and out of Manila and North Luzon Expressway (NLEX).
“As promised, we are opening NLEX Harbor Link Segment 10 to reduce travel time from NLEX Valenzuela City to C-3 Caloocan City from more than one hour to just five minutes,” Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar said after a series of change in the schedule of opening since December last year.
The project involves the construction of a 5.65-km elevated expressway traversing NLEX from MacArthur Highway Karuhatan, Valenzuela City, passing through Malabon City and C-3 Road, Caloocan City.
Villar said the expressway will significantly benefit cargo trucks to and from the ports of Manila and NLEX as it can serve as a 24/7 direct access road that bypasses the overly congested Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) or Balintawak Toll Plaza.
He furthered that it will also help in solving port congestion as the expressway won’t enforce truck ban.
However, the 2.7-kilometer Segment 10 Exit Ramp to Radial Road 10 (R-10), which completes the over 8-kilometer road project, is currently underway to extend NLEX Harbor Link Segment 10 up to R-10 using Circumferential Road 3 (C-3) as its route.
According to the secretary, the Segment 10 Exit Ramp to R-10 is expected to be completed by January 2020. It will further reduce travel time from NLEX to Port Area and vice versa to only 10 minutes.
“NLEX Harbor Link Segment 10 is part of the 21.65-kilometer NLEX Harbor Link Project envisioned to extend NLEX from Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City all the way to C-3 in Caloocan City and to Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City,” Villar said.
Its segments 8.1 and 9 covering the 2.7-kilometer section from NLEX Valenzuela City junction to Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City were completed in 2010 while the 2.42-kilometer section from NLEX Mindanao Avenue Link at the SMART Connect Interchange to McArthur Highway in Valenzuela City was completed in March 2015.
Construction of the final section of NLEX Harbor Link dubbed as Segment 8.2, on the other hand, is expected to begin on the second quarter of 2020 until the second quarter of 2022.
The inauguration ceremony of the expressway was also attended by officials of Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation, a company owned by Metro Pacific Investments Corporation which holds the concession rights to construct, operate and maintain the North Luzon Expressway.