The DPWH will be hard at work if they aim to finish five major expressways before President Duterte's term finishes. During the Dutertenomics forum, Secretary Mark Villar outlined the department's plans to build – and complete – the said highways that promises faster travel times from Northern Luzon to Southern Luzon.
During the Secretary's presentation, he outlined the Luzon Spine Expressway, NLEX-SLEX Connector, Harbor Link, CLLEx and CALA-X.
The Luzon Spine Expressway aims to link TPLEX all the way to the Quezon-Bicol Expressway, which is currently under construction. It will link TPLEX, straight to NLEX, which then connects it to the SLEX/Skyway via the NLEX-SLEX Connector, also under construction. Once passing through the NLEX-SLEX connector, travelers will pass through STAR tollway.
It then links to the TR4 which has begun construction earlier this year and expands the Luzon highway network system to Lucena. TR4 then connects to the Quezon-Bicol expressway, which stretches 140 kilometers, all the way to Legaspi. DPWH aims to finish the Luzon Spine Expressway and NLEX-SLEX Connector project by 2020. Villar adds that, once completed, one can travel from Bicol to La Union in 12 hours.
As for the Harbor Link project, the DPWH's target date of completion set before the year ends. Once completed, the DPWH says it will Reduce travel time from Mindanao Avenue going to Commonwealth Avenue from 45 minutes to 10 minutes. It will decongest Metro Manila by providing access to the NLEX without passing through EDSA or the Balintawak Toll Plaza. The Harbor Link project is also expected to improve the movement of cargo from the Port of Manila by providing a direct connection between R10 (Radial Road 10).
Construction for CLLEx meanwhile will be in two phases with the first phase ongoing. Phase one stretches 30.7 kilometers long from Tarlac City, Tarlac to Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija. Phase two will start from General Mamerto Natividad, Nueva Ecija to San Jose, Nueva Ecija. CCLEx covers a total of 66.4 kilometers. It will then be connected to the NLEX East Expressway, also under construction.
The fifth expressway Villar discussed was CALA-X or the Cavite-Laguna Expressway. Set for groundbreaking this year, it will connect CAVITEX to the Mamplasan exit in Laguna. CALA-X stretches 44.2 kilometers long and will have interchanges in 8 locations namely; Kawit, Open Canal, Governor’s Drive, Aguinaldo Highway, Silang East, Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Rd., Laguna Blvd., and Technopark. Target date of completion is December 2021.