Motorists that need to go from NLEX and SLEX need not only take Skyway Stage 3. The first five kilometers of the soon-to-open NLEX-SLEX Connector is set for completion this year.

Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary MarkVillar, along with NLEX Corporation president and general manager J. Luigi Bautista, inspected the project today along 4th Avenue in Caloocan City.

According to Villar, the construction progress of the project is currently at just 16%. However, right-of-way delivery for the whole alignment is now 81%. With that, Villar is optimistic that the first five kilometers of the NLEX-SLEX Connector are complete by year's end.

First 5-km of NLEX-SLEX Connector to open in 2021 image

DPWH and NLEX officials also witnessed the launching of the new 'Super T' girders. Unlike typical trusses, Super T girders are lighter but are as durable as traditional box girders. They also have open flanges at the bottom that provide working spaces, which reduces the need for making formworks. Each Super T spans 30 meters and weighs 53 tons. Over 1,400 girders will be used for the entire Connector project.

Set to link Harbor Link and Skyway, the toll road will serve as a direct link for motorists and truckers that need 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.

First 5-km of NLEX-SLEX Connector to open in 2021 image

The four-lane elevated toll road will have four toll plazas, along with interchanges in C3 and Espana. When finished, the elevated road will provide better access to the Port of Manila and airports such as NAIA and Clark International Airport. Travel time between NLEX and SLEX could go from 2 hours to just 20 minutes.

With Skyway Stage 3 already providing a direct link between Alabang and Balintawak, the upcoming NLEX-SLEX Connector will further free up traffic in Metro Manila once it's finished.