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Metro Pacific begins initial work on Candaba Viaduct expansion

By Justine Irish D. Tabile, Reporter

METRO PACIFIC Investments Corp.’s tollway unit said it has started preliminary work on the 5-kilometer Candaba Third Viaduct project worth P6.1 billion.

“We are already in the design stage,” Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) President and Chief Executive Officer Rodrigo E. Franco told BusinessWorld.

The project is being implemented by MPTC’s unit, NLEX Corp., with Hong Kong-based Leighton Asia the main contractor. The additional viaduct is covered by North Luzon Expressway Concession Agreement.  

The viaduct allows vehicles to traverse the Candaba Swamp, a major bottleneck to north-south travel in Central Luzon, between Pulilan, Bulacan and Apalit, Pampanga.

The third viaduct, to be built between the northbound and southbound portions, is set to be completed by the end of 2024, according to Mr. Franco.

Separately, MPTC is also targeting the completion of the entire length of the NLEX Connector Road between the Caloocan Interchange on C3 Road Dimasalang and Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Sta. Mesa, Manila by May.

The first segment of the NLEX Connector Road is set to open to the public March 27 with toll rates yet to be finalized by the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB). 

“There is a tollway application about to be submitted to the TRB. We anticipate that in the next two weeks, the TRB will set the toll fees at least for the first section to be opened,” Mr. Franco 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.

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