Work on NLEx-Harbor Link scheduled to start 2011

BusinessWorld

Posted at Oct 20 2010 09:55 AM | Updated as of Oct 20 2010 06:58 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Construction of an alternate route to the Manila port area is slated to begin in late 2011 with government now starting to iron out property rights, project proponent Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC) said in a statement yesterday.

Groundwork for the P8-billion 8-kilometer extension of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) to the Manila ports, dubbed the "NLEx-Harbor Link," can soon start as the public and private sector parties have agreed to simple right-of-way acquisition processes by building a "substantial" part of the road over the existing Philippine National Railways, the Pangilinan-led firm said.

"With the start of right-of-way acquisition by the government, MNTC is primed to further expand the NLEx towards the west of Metro Manila," the firm said.

"Construction is anticipated to begin by the fourth quarter of 2011, subject to the delivery of the right-of-way by the government," it added.

The firm is targeting to complete the detailed engineering design by December.

Once completed, the highway is expected to decongest traffic in Metro Manila as it provides "alternative West access to the NLEx mainline, bypassing EDSA and the Balintawak interchange," the statement read.

It will connect NLEx to MacArthur Highway in Valenzuela City and then to the C-3 road which leads to the port areas in Manila.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources, for its part, is expected to issue an Environment Compliance Certificate for the project next month, MNTC said.

MNTC, a subsidiary of the Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), is the developer and concessionaire of the North Luzon Expressway.

MPTC is the infrastructure arm of Metro Pacific Investments Corp., the local unit of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., which partly owns Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) Co. Mediaquest Holdings, Inc., a unit of the PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund, has a minority stake in BusinessWorld.