20-minute drive from Tarlac to Cabanatuan within reach as CLLEX nears full completion

A mere 20-minute travel time between Tarlac City and Cabanatuan City in Nueva Ecija will soon be achieveable following the opening of the 18-kilometer (km) portion of the 30-km Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEX).

(Photo courtesy of the DPWH)

The expressway is now accessible from Tarlac City to Aliaga, Nueva Ecija after its three sections were opened last July 16.

These sections include the 4.10-km Tarlac Section; 6.40-km Rio Chico River Bridge Section, including the 1.5-km Rio Chico Viaduct; and Aliaga Section with up and down ramps at Guimba-Aliaga Road.

Once fully completed, CLLEX will shorten 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 will ensure a continuous traffic flow for the motoring public from Metro Manila and vice versa passing through the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), and Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX).

"More than just scenic views...while you drive and visit the stunning places in Central Luzon, this new highway will help ensure Philippines sustainability and development by addressing barriers in distance and mobility," Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar said.

The CLLEX, the secretary added, "is a quality infrastructure that will benefit around 11,200 motorists and commuters daily and ease traffic on Daang Maharlika Highway" once the entire expressway is finished.

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

Villar, in his capacity as DPWH chief, is the de facto "chief builder" of the administration under this program.