NLEX to work on raising a section of NLEX in San Simon, Pampanga
For the past several days, motorists traveling along the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) had no choice but to endure long and grueling traffic in one of its major sections. That’s because a portion of the expressway in San Simon, Pampanga recently experienced flooding following the heavy rains brought by Typhoon Egay and the Southwest Monsoon.
The flooding was so severe that traffic on both northbound and southbound directions got backed up for several kilometers. In fact, it was only around yesterday that the flood waters receded and traffic flow started to move faster.
But in order to avoid another incident of flooding impeding traffic flow along NLEX, President Ferdinand “Bong Bong” Marcos Jr. announced yesterday during a situation briefing that he has agreed to a proposal to raise a portion of NLEX in San Simon, Pampanga.
“Approved. Approved ang pagtaas ng tulay doon sa bandang San Simon ng NLEX. Approved,” said Marcos.
[Approved, I approve the raising of the bridge on the San Simon section of NLEX. Approved]
In addition, present during the briefing yesterday was Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) president Rogelio Singson. He shared that the Department of Public Works & Highways (DPWH) has also agreed to raise the said portion of NLEX in San Simon. Singson added that this will allow water to pass under the elevated segment.
“The DPWH, based on my conversation yesterday, pumapayag na sila for us to raise that portion by 0.7 (meters) and mag-iiwan kami ng clearance ng 4.5 meters,” shared Singson.
[The DPWH, based on my conversation yesterday, has agreed to raise that portion by 0.7 (meters) and we will leave a clearance of 4.5 meters]
While this particular project is aimed to avoid a short-term problem, Marcos also wishes for a long-term solution via a water impounding facility in Candaba which has been proposed previously but was not supported by some local officials.
Singson’s proposal for the water impounding project will see the government purchase around 200 hectares or 10% of the 2,000-hectare land in Candaba to build a water impounding area which will be aimed at preventing flooding in nearby and low-lying areas. However, several local officials in the area do not support the said project as it would displace several palay farmers.
Marcos stated that they really need to have a long-term solution for the flooding in the area because if nothing will be done, then the flood waters will continue to cause problems not just for NLEX, but also in nearby low-lying areas during the rainy season.
“In the longer term, we really have to study what we are going to do in terms of impound dahil kung wala tayong gagawin, paulit-ulit na lang ito kahit mag-dredge tayo. Ngayon, kung may ma-displace diyan, I will personally guarantee each and everyone of these farmers na lalagay natin sila sa ibang lugar as equally as good na hindi naman sila mahirapan, hindi naman sila malugi,” said Marcos.
[In the longer term, we really have to study what we are going to do in terms of impound because if we do nothing, it will just happen again and again even if we dredge. Now, if someone will be displaced there, I will personally guarantee each and everyone of these farmers that we will put them in another place as equally as good that they will not suffer nor they will lose money]