MANILA - The tollways arm of infrastructure giant Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) is set to revise the alignment of the proposed toll road connecting the North Luzon expressway (NLEX) and South Luzon expressway (SLEX) due to the P171 billion North-South rail project.
Rodrigo Franco, president of MPIC’s Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC), said the revision of the alignment of the proposed NLEX-SLEX connector road would raise the cost by at least 30 percent.
“We will now have to revise our design to accommodate the construction of the North-South rail project. The cost will really increase and we are expecting it to go up by 30 percent,” Franco said.
Under the original proposal, the 13-kilometer NLEX-SLEX connector road would cost about P18 billion.
However, the cost was reduced to P11 billion for an eight-kilometer stretch after MPIC reached an agreement with diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) that has agreed to initially shoulder the cost of the five-kilometer common alignment connecting the NLEX-SLEX connector road to the P26.5 billion Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 project.
“The construction cost for the eight-kilometer main connector road is P11 billion under the old scheme but will increase by 30 percent or another P3 billion so it will now be P14 billion,” Franco said.
He explained that the proposed NLEX-SLEX connector road and the North-South rail project being undertaken by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) under the public private partnership (PPP) scheme are set to use the right-of-way of the state-run Philippine National Railways (PNR).
“The connector road and the North-South rail project will use the PNR right-of-way. Both projects could be side by side but in other parts the connector road might have to go above the North-South rail project,” he added.
The proposed 653-kilometer North-South rail project South Line PPP covers Metro Manila to Legazpi City, Albay. It consists of commuter railway operations between Tutuban and Calamba and long haul railway operations between Tutuban and Legazpi, including extended long haul rail operations on the branch line between Calamba and Batangas and extension between Legazpi and Matnog.
The railway between the existing Tutuban station and the city of Calamba stretching 56 kilometers would have commuter rail operations in addition to long haul rail operations of NSRP.
Last December, the Cabinet level National Economic and Development Authority — Investment Coordination Committee (NEDA-ICC) cleared the Swiss challenge for the P18 billion NLEX-SLEX connector road.
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