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MPTC NLEX connector to open late March after clearing final inspection

METRO PACIFIC Tollways Corp. (MPTC) said one of its units will be opening the first segment of the NLEX Connector by March 27 after completing final inspection.

The project, run by MPTC subsidiary NLEX Corp., consists of two segments: the five-kilometer (km) Caloocan-España road and the three-km España-Sta. Mesa section.

“We started constructing the NLEX Connector España Section in February 2020, and construction was continuous despite the pandemic. Despite the many challenges, we are pleased that the project is almost complete,” NLEX Corp. President and General Manager J. Luigi L. Bautista said.

During the project’s final inspection on Wednesday Public Works Secretary Manuel M. Bonoan said that the opening of the four-lane road will be just in time for the Easter holidays.

“We are targeting to open the España Section before Holy Week to help decongest vehicular traffic in Metro Manila especially to and from the Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, and Valenzuela (Camanava) area,” Mr. Bonoan said.

Transportation Secretary Jaime J. Bautista said the connector road will reduce travel times and improve logistics flows.

“This is a very important project of the government to support economic development,” Mr. Bautista said.

Mr. Bautista added that the connector will ease the process of delivering goods.

NLEX Corp.’s Mr. Bautista said he is expecting to complete the second segment of the project by May.

The company has yet to file the paperwork with the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) to set the tolls for the connector.

“The filing will be immediate. The reason why we did the inspection today is because if the requirements are all ready, we will file (with the TRB),” he said.

The company will propose an P84 toll fee from Caloocan Interchange on C3 Road, Dimasalang to España Boulevard, the company’s president said.

MPTC is the tollways unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp., one of three key Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT, Inc.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Justine Irish D. Tabile

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