Motorists will soon have an alternate way of traveling between Tarlac and Nueva Ecija. After announcing last week that Phase 1 of Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEX) is already 94% finished, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said that the first 18-kilometers of CLLEX will be open to vehicles this July.

The announcement was made by DPWH Secretary Mark A. Villar, who recently inspected the progress of CLLEX. According to Villar, contract packages 1 and 2 covering Tarlac Section and Rio Chicho River Bridge Section are now complete and cover 10.5-kilometers in total. Meanwhile, the 9.2-kilometer Aliaga Section (aka contract package 3) is now 87% complete.

First 18-kilometers of CLLEX to open this July image

Despite work slowdown due to the pandemic, the first 18-kilometer section will be able to serve motorists from SCTEX/TPLEX connection in Tarlac City. The expressway will initially reach up to the intersection of Aliaga-Guimba Road in Aliaga, Nueva Ecija this July 2021.

DPWH Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain said that the delivery of right-of-way (ROW) requirements are now being fast-tracked for CLLEX. This is being done to fully secure the requirements needed and to accelerate the construction of the expressway in the near future.

First 18-kilometers of CLLEX to open this July image

“We are hopeful that we will finally secure full site possession of the remaining required ROW to allow our construction activities to go on full throttle,” said Sadain.

First 18-kilometers of CLLEX to open this July image

Once the entire expressway is complete, it will cut travel time between Tarlac City, Tarlac and Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija from 70 minutes to just 20 minutes. More importantly, CLLEX will form an important east-west link for the expressway network of Central Luzon, and provide a seamless connection of traffic flow between NLEX, SCTEX, and TPLEX.