Construction of the P25.2-billion Cavite-Tagaytay-Batangas expressway (CTBEx) is expected to start by first quarter of 2020, according to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
“We are hoping to get the NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority) approval in fourth quarter (this year) to have the Swiss challenge and then we could start (construction) by early next year,” Mark Villar, DPWH secretary, told reporters.
Last July, DPWH awarded the original proponent status to Metro Pacific Investments Corp. tollways unit Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) and Metro Pacific Tollways South Corp. for the construction and operation of the 50.43-kilometer expressway traversing mostly the rural areas of Cavite and Batangas.
The project was endorsed to the NEDA-Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) in January for evaluation and approval.
After the project secures the go-ahead of the NEDA-ICC, it will be forwarded to the NEDA Board led by President Rodrigo Duterte for final approval.
Then, DPWH can commence the 60-day Swiss challenge that will allow other companies to challenge MPTC’s offer.
CTBEx has three sections. The first section involves the construction of roads in Cavite areas such as the Silang, Pook, Aguinaldo and Amadeo interchanges, including a spur to Tagaytay (17.06 km.)
Section 2 includes Mendez, Alfonso and Magallanes interchanges (10.32 km.) while section 3 involves the construction of Nasugbu interchange (22.83 km.).
The project aims to reduce travel time of motorists going to Tagaytay and Nasugbu from Manila and vice versa. It will decongest approximately 23,000 vehicles daily from existing thoroughfares.
CTBEx will connect seamlessly with the Cavite-Laguna (Calax) and Manila-Cavite expressways of MPTC.
Travel time will be shortened in two major routes: Governor’s Drive to Nasugbu, where the usual 1 hour and 42 minutes will be reduced to 44 minutes, equivalent to 56 percent time savings; and Sta. Rosa to Tagaytay, where the usual travel of 2 hours will be reduced to 46 minutes, equivalent to 62 percent time savings.
MPTC is set to open 10 km. of CALAx next month and on track to start operating the entire 45-km. alignment by second quarter of 2022.