Need to get to Mamplasan to Santa Rosa in no time? You can by next month, as the first ten kilometers of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) will be completed by then. In fact, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) wanted to show the state of construction on the major highway's progress.

Progress report: Here

From what we saw, it looks like it's going to be on schedule. When we visited the sight, large sections of the highway have already been paved, and the off-ramp is already being constructed. Also, the toll gates are about to be completed, and significant portions of the road already have dividers and concrete barriers in place.

Aside from seeing the progress, we were also able to drive on the yet to be completed highway itself. The trip took us from the Mamplasan interchange in Binan, all the way to Nuvali in Santa Rosa. Averaging about 40 km/h on the road (there are still construction zones after all), we made it from point to point in less than 20 minutes. That travel time should be even less once the highway is completed.

Progress report: Here

Speaking of cutting down travel times, CALAX will be the country's first expressway that will have what the DPWH calls a barrier-less entry system. They will be installing an Automatic License Plate Recognition System which which will shorten waiting times at toll entry points, thus making getting on to the expressway much more convenient. Speed cameras and high-definition cameras will also be installed along CALAX to supplement on the road speed enforcement.

The first segment starts at the Mamplasan Barrier and passes through the Laguna Technopark interchange, and the Laguna Boulevard Interchange all the way to Santa Rosa-Tagaytay Interchange (N420). This highway is just one fourth of the entire CALAX network which will span a total of 45 kilometers. It will then have eight interchanges, namely Kawit, Daang Hari, Governor’s Drive, Aguinaldo Highway, Silang, Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay, Laguna Blvd., Technopark, and a new Toll Barrier before SLEX.