Earlier this year, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar said that they can finish the first 5-kilometer segment of the NLEX Connector this year. With right-of-way delivery for the entire alignment almost complete, Villar is confident they accomplish the project by year's end.
Fast forward to today, and work on the 5-km segment has officially reached Manila. Villar confirmed this and mentioned that the project is now 35% complete. According to the DPWH, construction between the Caloocan and Espana interchanges is in full swing and has now reached Abad Santos Street and Blumentrit in Manila.
The latest section of the project is currently being built inside the Philippine National Railways tracks. Construction work continues between Harbor Link-Caloocan Interchange along C3 Road/5th Avenue and Espana Boulevard in Sampaloc, Manila. This section will have on and off-ramps in Espana Interchange and allow direct access to NLEX for Manila motorists.
“We are working together with NLEX to expedite the right-of-way delivery within the properties of the Philippine National Railways (PNR). Bored piling works and concrete casting of columns have started in the Manila area from Solis all the way to Dimasalang,” said Villar.
The remaining 3-kilometer segment between Espana Interchange and the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) in Sta. Mesa is ready for construction by June 2021.
“We are doing everything we can to accelerate the completion of this high-impact expressway that will benefit the motoring public. The entire 8-km NLEX Connector is vital to ensure improved mobility within Metro Manila,” said J. Luigi L. Bautista, president and general manager of NLEX Corporation.
Once work on the entire NLEX Connector is complete, the elevated toll road will connect Harbor Link and Skyway. It will serve as a direct link for truckers to get from the Port of Manila to the south of the metro and vice versa. It will traverse the C3 Road in Caloocan City, pass through Abad Santos, Dimasalang, Magsaysay Boulevard, and eventually reach Skyway Stage 3 near the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) in Sta. Mesa, Manila.
The DPWH added that travel time between NLEX and SLEX is possible within 20 minutes. Combined with the newly-opened Skyway 3, heading north or south of the metro will soon be a breeze.