The NLEX Connector is on track to finish construction by first-quarter next year as the toll road’s first five-kilometer section is now half complete, a unit of the Metro Pacific Tollways announced.
J. Luigi L. Bautista, NLEX Corp. president and general manager said the P23 billion section running from Caloocan Interchange to España Boulevard is now 50 percent complete and will be finished by end-March 2022.
Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark A. Villar confirmed that NLEX Connector’s Manila segment is now nearly halfway done.
“We are targeting to deliver the full right-of-way (ROW) for this section by next month so we can further accelerate the project,” Villar said.
The eight-kilometer, four-lane elevated expressway that will link the North Luzon Expressway and South Luzon Expressway is a public-private partnership project between NLEX Corp. and the Department of Public Works and Highways.
Bautista said NLEX Corp. tapped new technology to hasten the construction, such as Indonesia’s Sosrobahu, which is used to launch coping beams or pierheads in certain portions of the project.
The rotating device enables the construction of expressways above existing roads with minimum disturbance to traffic, Bautista said.
“This technology will ramp up the construction progress and minimize traffic jams,” Bautista explained. “Despite the challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic, we can expect significant progress in the coming months because of this solution.”
Aside from the Sosrobahu, NLEX is also using Super T girders to expedite the construction of the infrastructure.
Super T girders are pre-stressed box girders that are widely used for bridges in Australia and New Zealand. More than 1,400 girders will be used for the entire project.
NLEX is also using the Philippine National Railway’s tracks in transporting major structural components from one site to another to speed up the construction.
The connector road will provide trucks with a 24/7 alternative route and reduce travel time between NLEX and South Luzon from two hours to 20 minutes.
While the NLEX Connector España Section is progressing, the company will start building the next 3-km elevated section between España Interchange and the vicinity of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Sta. Mesa, Manila within the year.
Once completed, the NLEX Connector will have four toll plazas and interchanges in C3 and España.
It is expected to serve 35,000 motorists daily and provide better access to Manila Ports and airports such as NAIA and Clark.
This will also enable faster transport of goods and services between Metro Manila and Luzon provinces.