NLEX Corporation on Monday said it is accelerating the construction of major infrastructure projects despite community quarantine restrictions.
These include the 8-kilometer NLEX Connector and the upgrade of the 5-kilometer Candaba Viaduct, as well as other safety repairs and bridge rehabilitation.
“We are following our timelines and have contingencies in place to be able to accomplish our projects amid the community quarantine,” said NLEX Corporation President and General Manager J. Luigi L. Bautista, noting that “by accelerating these projects, we are doing our part to help keep the economy going.”
Construction on the first 5-kilometer of the NLEX Connector or the Caloocan-España section is continuing, with its progress standing at 32 percent. This latest Metro Manila elevated expressway is being built over the existing right-of-way (ROW) of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) between the Caloocan Interchange along C3 Road/5th Ave. and España Blvd. in Sampaloc, Manila.
Targeted for completion by the end of the year, the section will have on and off ramps in España and will make NLEX accessible from the University Belt area.
The next 3-kilometer section—also within the PNR ROW—between España Blvd. and the vicinity of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Sta. Mesa, Manila is expected to begin construction within the second quarter of the year.
Around 35,000 motorists daily are set to benefit from this new road. The project is also being eyed as a viable 24/7 cargo truck alternative route between north and south Metro Manila—and support business activities in the fast-growing regions in Central Luzon and Calabarzon.
The company also continues its series of upgrades on the Candaba Viaduct to maintain its long-term serviceability and ensure the safety and driving comfort of motorists.
The current upgrade, which is targeted for completion by May this year, involves the replacement of the link slabs on the Manila-bound portion of the bridge. To date, the project is already 92 percent complete as 23 out of the 25 link slabs have been replaced.
The pavement repair program on NLEX and SCTEX is also making headway. Safety repairs on identified expressway bridges are likewise ongoing.
NLEX has also started the rehabilitation of the Meycauayan and Bigaa bridges in Bulacan to strengthen their structures. According to Bautista, both were built in the 1960s and even though the company ensures the required periodic maintenance is undertaken, it is high time for the much-needed major repairs.
While the rehabilitation of the 45-meter Meycauayan bridge is targeted for completion by September 2021, the rehabilitation of the 64-meter Bigaa bridge in Balagtas area is expected to be finished by August 2021. To keep the traffic flowing as efficiently as possible, the project is being undertaken in stages starting off with the southbound portion.