Connector road construction ramped up

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    The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and NLEX Corp. have ramped up construction works for the first 5-kilometer section of the P23-billion North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Connector project to achieve the target completion by yearend.

    Mark Villar, DPWH secretary, who led the project inspection along 4th Avenue in Caloocan City, said both the public and private sectors are optimistic to finish the project as scheduled for Phase 1, or the first 5 km., by yearend and the full completion by 2022.

    DPWH had delivered 81 percent of the right-of-way requirements for the whole alignment, while construction progress is at 16 percent.

    NLEX will be using Super T girders – innovative, pre-stressed box girders that are widely used for bridges in Australia and New Zealand but relatively new in the Philippine construction industry – to help fast-track the construction of the elevated expressway.

    “Innovation is one of the core values of our company. We are using Super T beams to advance our construction progress so we can soon complete this crucial infrastructure that would help decongest Metro Manila and solve truck ban woes,” said J. Luigi Bautista, NLEX president and general manager.

    Over 1,400 girders will be used for the entire connector project. The structural format of a Super T provides an optimal solution to particular challenges posed by the project, which passes through urbanized areas where the roads are already congested, and the right-of-way is constrained laterally.

    Last year, DPWH, NLEX and the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) facilitated the clearing of electric facilities in Sta. Cruz, Manila. More than 300 Meralco linemen simultaneously worked to clear a portion of the right-of-way. The activity involved the installation and retirement of around 160 electric poles.

    Spanning a total of 8 km., the full NLEX Connector will be an all-vehicle class elevated expressway that will traverse the Circumferential Road 3 (C3) in Caloocan City, pass through Abad Santos, Blumentritt, Dimasalang, España, Magsaysay Boulevard and eventually connect with the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Sta. Mesa in Manila.