The Department of Public Works and Highways aims to finish the five major expressways before President Rodrigo Duterte’s term ends.
DPWH Secretary Mark Villar presented the department’s plans in building and completing the highways and promising a faster travel time from North Luzon to Southern Luzon. He also outlined the Luzon Spine Expressway, North Luzon Expressway (NLEX)-South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) Connector, Harbor Link, Central Luzon Line Expressway (CLLEx) and the Cavity Laguna Expressway (CALA-X).
The Luzon Line expressway works toward linking TPLEX to the Quezon-Bicol Expressway, which is an ongoing project. It will also link TPLEX going to NLEX, which connects it to the SLEX/Skyway via NLEX-SLEX Connector, which is also in the stage of construction. After passing through the connectors, the travelers will pass through the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR) tollway.
It will then link to TR4 which construction started early this year, it expands to the highway network system to Lucena. TR4 connects to the 140 kilometers Quezon-Bicol expressway all the way to Legaspi.
The Luzon Spine Expressway and NLEX-SLEX Connector project is expected to finish by 2020. Once completed, the travel time from Bicol to La Union will only take 12 hours.
The DPWH’s completion date for the Harbor Link project is set before the year ends. With the completion of the Harbor Link Project the travel time from Mindanao Avenue to Commonwealth Avenue will only be 10 minutes compared to the normal 45 minute drive. It is also expected to solve traffic congestion in Metro Manila by providing access to NLEX without passing through EDSA or Balintawak Toll Plaza. Harbor Link will also improve the movement of cargo from the port of Manila by providing direct connection between Radial Road 10 (R10)
The CLLEx will have two faces, the first phase is currently on going. The Phase one is 30.7 kilometers long from Tarlac City, Tarlac to Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija. The whole CLLEx will cover a total of 66.4 kilometers. CLLEx will then be connected to the NLEX East Expressway.
The Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALA-X) is set to be completed on December of 2021, but it is groundbreaking this year because it will connect CAVITEX to the Mamplasan exit in Laguna. The CALA-X is 44.2 kilometers long and will have 8 interchanges (Kawit, Open Canal, Governor’s Drive, Aguilando Highway, Silang East, Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Rd., Laguna Blvd., and Technopark.