By Emmie V. Abadilla
San Miguel Corporation (SMC), through its South Luzon Tollway Corporation (SLTC), will break ground today on the construction of 66.74-kilometer South Luzon Expressway Toll Road 4 (TR-4) meant to speed up travel time to and from Laguna and Quezon.
Estimated to cost P13.1 billion, the tollroad is expected to be completed in 36 months, the company said.
“Cavite and Laguna were considered no man’s land. Once we finish this tollway, the peace and order situation in Quezon and Bicol will improve. Local tourism will improve. New businesses will emerge. Progress will be brought to the level of the small towns and barangays,” declared SMC President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon S. Ang.
The toll road that stretches from Sto. Tomas, Batangas to Barangay Mayao in Quezon province will shorten the usual travel time of three hours to just 45 minutes.
This will boost economic activity through the faster transport and delivery of goods and services and reduce vehicle volume along the Maharlika Highway, one of the main roads leading to the provinces of Laguna, Batangas, Quezon and the Bicol region.
“We believe that the TR4 will further unlock the economic potential and promote tourism in Laguna, Batangas, Quezon and Bicol provinces,” Ang explained.
“With the growing population of Metro Manila, more and more people and businesses will move to these provinces due to these areas’ proximity,” he added.
“We will continue to invest in modern toll roads and expressways that are at par with our neighbors in Asia.”
The toll road will be divided into six sections, namely: Sto Tomas, Batangas to Makban in Laguna (11.32 km); Makban to San Pablo City (12.75 km); San Pablo to Tiaong in Quezon (7.5 km), Tiaong to Candelaria (15 km); Candelaria to Tayabas (10.21 km) and Tayabas to Lucena (9.96 km).
At present , SMC now operates the 43-km. South Luzon Expressway to Calamba, Laguna, the 9-km toll extension to Sto Tomas, Batangas to continue all the way Southen Tagalog Access Road (STAR tollway) to Batangas City. It built and operates the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway. It also built and operates the Tarlac-Pangasinan La Union Expressway (TPLEX).