MANILA - A 10-kilometer segment of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) was opened to the public on Wednesday in time for All Saints' Day.
Motorists can also enjoy the new road toll-free while regulators determine the fees.
Public Works Secretary Mark Villar and officials of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. formally opened the Mamplasan to Santa Rosa segment of the CALAX this morning.
Villar said they wanted to open the Laguna segment of the tollway before Nov. 1.
"So ito pinilit talaga namin matapos sa Undas dahil alam naman namin na grabe yung traffic pag Undas. Hopefully, makakatulong din ito sa traffic lalo sa mga papuntang Batangas at papuntang Tagaytay," Villar said in a Facebook video.
(We really pushed this to be finished before the All Saints' Day holidays because we know how bad traffic can get at this time. Hopefully, this will help people going to Batangas and Tagaytay.)
CALAX's Laguna segment is expected to serve around 10,000 vehicles per day and cut travel time between Mamplasan in Biñan town and Santa Rosa-Tagaytay Road to 10 minutes from 45 minutes, Villar said.
Metro Pacific's MPCALA Holdings Inc (MPHI), which is building the tollway, said one lane in each direction of the CALAX Laguna segment will be open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. until Nov. 2.
Starting Nov. 3, the segment will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday, and from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
A speed limit of 60 kilometers per hour will also be in effect.
"This will only be temporary until the remaining works for these first subsections are completed," said MPHI president and general manager Bobby Bontia in a statement.
MPHI said full access to the completed lanes as well as 24-hour operations of the tollway will be possible once the Department of Public Works and Highways and the Toll Regulatory Board give them the relevant permits and certifications.
Once finished, the 45-kilometer CALAX will connect CAVITEX in Kawit, Cavite to South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) at the Mamplasan Interchange in Biñan Laguna.
CALAX will have 4 lanes in each direction and interchanges in 8 locations. It will also feature technologies such as automatic license plate recognition system enabling barrier-less entry, IP-based speed detection cameras, and high-definition CCTV cameras, MPHI said.