Last week, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) announced that it has resumed construction work of major infrastructure projects in Metro Manila amid the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine. This comes after the Inter-Agency Task Force gave the government agency the go-ahead via Resolution No. 34.
The NLEX Corporation, together with the DPWH, has just announced that work on North Luzon Expressway Harbor Link C3 R10 Section (NLEX-Harbor Link) has resumed. This was made possible after government regulators gave the NLEX Corporation the approval to restart construction work.
“We have complied with the safety protocols laid out by the government for the implementation of infrastructure projects amid modified enhanced community quarantine. With the acceleration of these projects, we can help the government in its aim to revitalize the economy despite the ongoing health crisis,” said J. Luigi Bautista, president, and general manager of NLEX Corporation.
Following the safety and health protocols recommended by the IATF, DOH, DOLE, as well as the DPWH's Department Order No. 35, the NLEX Corporation and its contractors are taking all of the necessary precautions and measures to ensure the safety of the workers at the construction site. These include rapid antibody testing of workers, strict observance of wearing personal protective equipment (PPEs), constant monitoring of body temperatures, following physical distancing measures, provision of washing facilities at key locations, and regular disinfection of equipment and work areas.
According to DPWH Secretary Mark Villar, all of the workers posted at NLEX Harbor Link Project tested negative of COVID-19. However, to ensure that they will not be infected while working at the site, Villar said that all of the workers will remain on-site until the project is completed this June 15, 2020. All of the workers have been provided with lodging facilities that are segregated in order to maintain social distancing measures.
With the construction of the remaining 2.6-km NLEX Harbor Link C3-R10 Section now underway, it will serve as a key infrastructure project that would cut travel time between NLEX to CAMANAVA from 1 hour to just 10 minutes once it's completed.
Aside from the NLEX-Harbor Link project, the NLEX Connector, Subic Freeport Expressway (SFEX) Capacity Expansion, and the maintenance program for the Candaba Viaduct have all resumed construction as well, and are following strict safety and health protocols.
The 8-km NLEX Connector is an elevated expressway that will traverse the Caloocan Interchange, pass through Espana, and link up with Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3. Meanwhile, the 8.2-km SFEX Capacity Expansion is now at 38% and is aimed at improving traffic safety and reduce travel time to and from Subic Bay Freeport Zone. They're looking at completing the expansion project by November of this year.
Finally, heavy maintenance work along the 5-km Candaba viaduct is likewise in progress. Emergency repairs are already ongoing underneath the bridge while the replacement of link slabs will be scheduled. There is still no target dates as to when these infrastructure projects will be completed.
Despite the threat of COVID-19, Bautista said that they are committed to finishing the big-ticket projects in order to continue delivering 24/7 service to motorists and other stakeholders.