January 24, 2018, 9:25 am
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Tollway firm sets P19B capex

NLEX Corp. is setting aside around P19 billion capital expenditure for this year  to finance the construction of Harbor Link and the NLEX(North Luzon expressway) -SLEX (South Luzon expressway)  connector road.

Rodrigo Franco, NLEX Corp. president and chief executive officer,  said bulk of the company’s 2018 capital expenditure will be used to construct the urban portions of the NLEX such as the Harbor Link Segment 10 (including the R10 Section in Dagat-Dagatan, Navotas City) and the connector road, a public-private partnership project of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

The tollways company, however, clarified the amount  assumes the satisfactory resolution of the tariff adjustments for which constructive discussions with government are still ongoing. 

The capex figure will  be subject to review and adjustment depending on the results of the discussions on the tariff.

As of last September, NLEX Corp.’s parent firm Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. had total claims of P7.5 billion from government’s inaction on  the toll fee hike petition for NLEX and the Manila-Cavite Expressway.

Franco said major tollroad projects that will either start construction or will open this year are expected to ease traffic in Metro Manila.

“These investments are aimed at supporting the government’s initiatives to ease the daily traffic woes of our commuters, drive commerce, and are part of our continuing commitment to further ensure safe and convenient travel in our expressways and maintain our high-quality service,” Franco said.

Expected to be opened this year is Harbor Link Segment 10,  a 5.7-kilometer elevated expressway that traverses  NLEX from Smart Connect Interchange and crosses over Mac Arthur Highway in Valenzuela City with down ramps along C3/5th Avenue Interchange in Caloocan City. 

Upon  Harbor Link’s completion, travel between the Ports of Manila and NLEX will take only 10 minutes and will provide direct expressway access for commercial vehicles like  heavy trucks. 

It is estimated that around 40,000 vehicles traversing the Ports of Manila and  NLEX daily will benefit from the Harbor Link. That would help decongest the narrow streets of Manila.       

The tollways firm will also start construction of the NLEX-SLEX connector road project, an 8-km  all-elevated PPP project of the DPWH above the existing Philippine National Railway tracks  from the C3/5th Avenue Interchange in Caloocan City to Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Sta. Mesa, Manila. Upon its completion in 2021, the elevated expressway will provide motorists another alternative to the daily heavy traffic on EDSA. It is also expected to reduce travel time between NLEX and SLEX from two  hours to only 20 minutes.

In support of the continuing infrastructure initiatives of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority, NLEX Corp. will also undertake capacity expansion of the 8-km Subic Freeport Expressway. 
NLEX Corp. will construct 16 new lane kilometers thus boosting Subic port as a prime logistics hub.  

The average daily traffic for NLEX from January to September 2017 reached 233,332 its 7 percent  higher than same period last year, while average daily traffic for SCTEX during the period reached 53,407 daily entries, 22 percent  higher than same period of 2016.

The NLEX currently spans approximately 95 kilometers or 511-lane kilometers.
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