NLEX accelerates connector road

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    A tollways unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. is hiring technical and skilled workers to accelerate the construction of the 8-kilometer North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) Connector project which is targeted for completion by 2021.

    NLEX Corp. is working on the first 5-km. section of the NLEx Connector from Grace Park, Caloocan City to España St., Sampaloc, Manila.

    As projected, more than 1,500 workers are needed to accelerate the construction of the project, according to Luigi Bautista, NLEX president and general manager.

    He said priority is being given to overseas Filipino workers (OFW) who have been displaced and unemployed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    “Being a government partner in infrastructure building, NLEX Corp. and the entire Metro Pacific Tollways group are keen in helping the economy recover from the adverse effects of the pandemic. With our ongoing projects, we can create more opportunities for people thus propel growth in the country,” Bautista added.

    Decongesting MM roads. The connector road will cut travel between NLEX and SLEX from two hours to about 20 minutes.

    This all-vehicle class elevated expressway will traverse the Caloocan Interchange, 5th Avenue/C3 Road in Caloocan City, pass through España, and eventually link up with the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 at PUP Sta. Mesa in Manila.

    The P23-billion NLEx Connector project aims to significantly cut travel time from NLEx to South Luzon Expressway from two hours to about 20 minutes, and improve accessibility for cargo trucks bound for the Manila ports as well as to Ninoy Aquino International Airport and Clark International Airport.

    It is also seen to benefit 35,000 motorists who will be spared from using Metro Manila’s congested city roads since they will traverse their routes mostly above the alignment of the Philippine National Railways.

    Meanwhile, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) asked companies involved in the government’s “Build, Build, Build” program to extend employment assistance to repatriated OFWs especially those who previously worked in construction.

    “We are looking at our massive infrastructure projects as key employment generators.

    Apart from building roads and bridges to spur economic development, this administration’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ program is also geared towards providing livelihood to fellow Filipinos,” Mark Villar, DPWH secretary, said.

    Villar had said the yearly increase in infrastructure budget has generated 6.57 million jobs in four years.

    In 2016, 911,034 jobs were generated, 1.2 million in 2017, 1.7 million in 2018 and 1.2 million in 2019, while an estimated 1.5 million jobs will be generated from the 2020 budget.