It's toll-free! CLLEX all set for partial opening on July 15--Villar

Motorists will finally gain access to the first 18-kilometer (km) portion of the 30-km Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEX) starting tomorrow, Thursday, July 15.

FINALLY ACCESSIBLE--The Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEX), which connects Tarlac City to Cabanatuan City in Nueva Ecija, will be partially opened on Thursday, July 15. (Photo courtesy of the DPWH)

Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark A. Villar announced Wednesday, July 14 that the four-lane expressway project connecting Tarlac and Nueva Ecija will be partially opened to traffic on Thursday.

“As declared a month ago, we will inaugurate on Thursday, July 15, 2021, the first 18-kilometer section of CLLEX from Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX)/Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) connection in Tarlac City up to the intersection of Aliaga-Guimba Road in Aliaga, Nueva Ecija”, Villar said following the final inspection of the road project.

Villar emphasized that it will be a toll-free expressway that will provide an option to motorists and spread out traffic better between the Luzon provinces.

According to Undersecretary Emil Sadain, the partial opening includes the 4.10-km Tarlac Section, 6.40-km Rio Chico River Bridge Section, the 1.5-km Rio Chico Viaduct, and the Aliaga Section with up and down ramps at Guimba-Aliaga Road.

The remaining 10.3-km Cabanatuan Section under Contract Package 4 is already 88.7 percent complete, while the Zaragoza Interchange Section under Contract Package 5 is 26.9 percent complete.

"These sections are expected to gain significant progress as site possessions are secured for the project’s right of way (ROW) requirements," Villar said.

Once fully opened, the expressway is expected to slash the usual travel time of 70 minutes between Tarlac City and Cabanatuan City to just 20 minutes.

It will also form an important east-west link for the expressway network of Central Luzon. This ensures a continuous seamless traffic flow for the motoring public from Metro Manila passing through the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), and Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX), and vice-versa.

The P11.811-billion expressway received funding assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) under the "Build, Build, Build" program.