By Donne Rempillo
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will be opening in December this year Phase 1 of the Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEX) that will connect Tarlac City to Cabanatuan City with a travel time of just 20 minutes.
“CLLEX is a four-lane, 30-kilometer expressway from Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) and Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) connection in Balincanaway, Tarlac City and [that] ends at Daang Maharlika in Brgy. Caalibangbangan in Cabanatuan City,” DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said.
This P14.94 billion flagship infrastructure project was designed to facilitate the movement of goods and services from SCTEX and TPLEX to the eastern part of Luzon towards Cagayan Valley, bypassing some town centers of Bulacan and Nueva Ecija.
It will also ease traffic at Daang Maharlika Highway by 48 percent. At least 11,200 motorists and commuters will be served by the new road daily.
DPWH Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations & Technical Services Emil Sadain assessed that the first three contract packages (CP) and a substantial portion of CP-4 will be completed by the end of the year, with the full blast resumption of construction works following the easing of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) restrictions over Luzon.
“Prior to work suspension due to ECQ, CP-1 or the 4.1-kilometer Tarlac Section was already completed, including the 300-meter temporary off- and on-ramp constructed at the beginning of the Rio Chico River Bridge Section or CP-2,” Sadain said.
He also reported that the 6.4-kilometer CP-2 involving the construction of the 1.5-kilometer Rio Chico River viaduct, 42-meter Sta. Lucia River Bridge, and 38-meter La Paz-Victoria underpass bridge is 94.78 percent completed.
He directed that double efforts be exerted on the 9.2 kilometer CP-3 covering Aliaga section which includes the construction of the 42-meter Guimba-Aliaga underpass bridge and Aliaga interchange which is 67.83 percent completed, and the 10.3 kilometer CP-4 or Cabanatuan Section covering the Cabanatuan and San Juan interchanges which is 68.65 percent completed.
An additional 4.8-kilometer component of the expressway project from the junction of Carmen-Cabanatuan Road is the Zaragoza Interchange section which comprises a 2.8-kilometer access free road and two-kilometer interchange ramp that will cross over the embankment of CLLEX main expressway with an overpass.
This project to provide a reliable road network in Central Luzon is funded by the Philippine government and the Japan International Cooperation
Agency, and is being implemented by DPWH-UPMO Roads Management Cluster 1.
(Photos from DPWH)