Construction of the second section of NLEX Connector, between the future España and Sta. Mesa interchanges in Manila, officially begins as the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and NLEX Corporation lead the groundbreaking ceremony for the remaining three kilometers of the elevated expressway.


Earlier, NLEX Corp. signed an agreement with China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) for the civil works contract of the project.


Present during the event were DPWH Secretary Roger Mercado, Usec. Maria Catalina Cabral, Usec. Rafael Yabut, Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) President and CEO Rodrigo Franco, and NLEX Corp. President and General Manager J. Luigi Bautista.


Also in attendance were Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) Executive Director Alvin Carullo, Philippine National Railways (PNR) Asst. GM Ces Lauta, NLEX Corp. CFO Ma. Theresa Wells, NLEX Corp. VP for Tollway Development and Engineering Nemesio Castillo, CRBC GM Ren Xiaopeng, and CRBC Marketing Manager Haiyan Mo.


The entire NLEX Connector, spanning eight kilometers, uses portions of the PNR right-of-way. It extends the expressway southward from the NLEX Harbor Link Caloocan Interchange, 5th Avenue/C3 Road passing through España Blvd., R. Magsaysay Blvd., and eventually connecting to the Skyway Stage 3 within the vicinity of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) in Sta. Mesa, Manila.


“We are committed to provide the necessary right-of-way for this project as we target to complete this segment by end of 2022. Upon completion, the NLEX Connector will enable Manila Ports to have a seamless north-south connection and provide further convenience to motorists with the decongestion of major thoroughfares like EDSA and C5,” said Secretary Mercado.


The NLEX Connector is crucial in improving mobility because it will divert cargo trucks to the elevated expressway, thereby decongest local roads. This will be beneficial for truckers because the route is available 24/7, without a truck ban.


Aimed at spurring growth, the NLEX Connector will enable supply chain and logistics sector to achieve 24/7 unhampered delivery of goods, which are vital contributors in mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.


“The Metro Pacific Group actively contributes to accelerating infrastructure development in the Philippines. This new elevated expressway hopes to support the country’s economic recovery by helping reduce traffic congestion in the metro and offering those with private cars and commercial vehicles ease of travel,” said MPTC President Franco.


He added that “the project will enhance accessibility to international airports such as NAIA and Clark, help generate jobs, and stimulate development between Metro Manila and its surrounding provinces in the north and south.”


Once opened, around 35,000 motorists are expected to traverse this new expressway which runs mostly above the PNR alignment.


“Together with our government partners, we remain steadfast in ramping up this high impact elevated expressway that will benefit the motoring public and nearby communities,” NLEX Corp. President Bautista said.


Meanwhile, the construction of the first five-kilometer section of the project between  Caloocan and España interchanges continues to progress with close to 60 percent completion.


NLEX Corporation is a subsidiary of the Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC), the toll road arm of the Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC).