Getting to the City of Manila from Quezon City often involved a lot of exploration of various side streets (thanks to Waze) given the often horrendous traffic seen on main roads such as EDSA, Aurora Boulevard, Magsaysay Boulevard, Quirino Avenue, among others.

Now, that's all about to change after President Rodrigo Duterte, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) have opened NLEX Segment 10, a new elevated expressway that plans to slash a trip that once took about an hour (or more) in traffic, to just 15 minutes, possibly even less.

NLEX Segment 10 to slash QC to Manila travel times

Segment 10 is 5.65 kilometer, 6-lane (3 lanes either direction) divided and elevated toll expressway that will connect Caloocan (via C3) directly to the NLEX.

The new road has been opened to the public starting today, March 1.

To take the NLEX Segment 10 heading west towards Caloocan and Manila, motorists can drive onto the NLEX entry at Mindanao Avenue (Segment 8.1), cross the NLEX via the overpass and onto the section going to Karuhatan, in Valenzuela (Segment 9). Instead of exiting, you can now go onto the elevated expressway and onto C-3 Road in Caloocan, which is where you'll get onto Segment 10 if you're heading in the opposite direction.

The elevated expressway, build largely over the existing PNR railway tracks, is designed to have a capacity of 30,000 vehicles daily. More importantly, NLEX Segment 10 is expected to provide a very significant benefit to the economy, as the new route is intended to serve heavy cargo trailers and trucks that need to access the Port Area in the City of Manila. This will boost the speed and efficiency of imports and, more importantly, exports.

NLEX Segment 10 to slash QC to Manila travel times

As such, the road is rated to sustain the weights of semi-trailer trucks and other heavy duty vehicles, and has been engineered to withstand earthquakes.

The current completed NLEX segments of the extension project include Segment 8.1 (Mindanao Avenue, Quezon City to NLEX SMART Connect), Segment 9 (NLEX SMART Connect to Karuhatan, Valenzuela) and Segment 10 (Karuhatan, Valenzuela to Circumferential Road 3, Caloocan).

Eventually, NLEX Segment 10 will have another road linking to it, allowing it to serve the Port Area with a 2.6 kilometer extension heading towards R10; the extension of Roxas Boulevard. Another extension called Segment 8.2 is also under construction; this project will link up from the NLEX entry point at Mindanao Avenue and head towards Commonwealth Avenue and connect to C-5 in Quezon City.

As for toll fees, Segment 10 will be initially be included in the flat rate that motorists pay to enter the NLEX from Balintawak or Mindanao Avenue. The Toll Regulatory Board will still have to announce the rate to use NLEX Segment 10.