We live in the age of new expressways. TPLEX, CALAX, CLLEX, Skyway Stage 3, NLEX SLEX Connector, and many others are either being built, or starting to open gradually.
But one important project that is also in the pipeline is the the extension of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), and there are plans to extend it all the way to Sorsogon with the TR5 project.
Construction of the SLEX Toll Road 4 (TR4) which would link Batangas and Quezon is set to begin (or may have even started prep work already). However, it seems the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) intents to extend SLEX even further south with the Toll Road 5 (TR5) project.
If (or when) greenlit and completed, TR5 will start from the terminal point of the SLEX TR4 Project at Barangay Mayao, Lucena City in Quezon, and end at Matnog, Sorsogon, near the Matnog Ferry Terminal. As a result, you can effectively drive straight from Metro Manila all the way to Matnog without having to use any of the provincial highways. To proceed further south, a motorist can take the RORO to Samar and continue to drive.
According to the DPWH, the upcoming toll road is approximately 420-kilometers long. It will be composed of eight segments and feature a total of 28 interchanges. Segment 1 (Lucena to Gumaca) – 61 km. Segment 2 (Gumaca to Tagkawayan) – 58.60 km. Segment 3 (Tagkawayan to Sipocot) – 61.40 km. Segment 4 (Sipocot to Naga City) – 39.50 km. Segment 5 (Naga City to Polangui) – 45.90 km. Segment 6 (Polangui to Legaspi City) – 33.60 km. Segment 7 (Legaspi City to Sorsogon City)- 57.70 km. Segment 8 (Sorsogon City to Matnog) – 62.30 km.
The project has an estimated cost of PhP 22.6 billion and an implementation period of 24 months for Segment 1.
As much as it would be nice from Metro Manila to the southernmost province of Luzon via SLEX, it might still be a while before that happens. At the moment, SLEX TR4 is still under construction. Meanwhile, TR5 has yet to even begin. In fact, the project has yet to be officially awarded to any contractor. There is also no official date as to when the entire project is set to be completed.
Should the project get the green light soon, we certainly cannot wait to see this massive infrastructure be completed in the coming years.