Expressway linking cities of Tarlac, Cabanatuan almost complete--Villar

The 30-kilometer (km) expressway project linking Tarlac City and Cabanatuan City in Nueva Ecija is now 94 percent finished, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar said Wednesday, June 2.

OPENING SOON-- The Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEX), which will connect Tarlac City to Cabanatuan City in Nueva Ecija, is now 94 percent complete. (Photo courtesy of the DPWH)

With this development, Villar said the first 18-km section of the P11.811-billion Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEX) will soon be accessible to the motorists.

Following the linkage of Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) and Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) in Balingcanaway, Tarlac City, the contract packages covering the Tarlac section and Rio Chico River Bridge section with a total length of 10.5 km have been fully completed. Meanwhile, the construction of the 9.2 km Aliaga section of the expressway is now 87 percent finished.

Once completed, the expressway will shorten the usual travel time of 70 minutes between the two cities to only 20 minutes.

Villar said the intersection of Aliaga-Guimba Road in Aliaga, Nueva Ecija is also finished. It's supposed to be partially opened this second quarter of 2021, but work restrictions have hampered that plan.

Meanwhile, the 10.3-km Cabanatuan section under contract package 4 is now 88 percent done.

Contract package 5, on the other hand, has a progress rate of 26 percent. It involves the construction of the 113-meter (m) Zaragoza Interchange Bridge, 4.88-km access road, two pre-stressed concrete deck girder bridges with a total length of 19.4 m, five reinforced concrete box culverts for equalizer and farm passage, and seven irrigation canals.

CLLEX is funded via a loan agreement with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).