The C3 Caloocan Interchange with the road going to Espana, from Espana going to Port Area, Manila, from Port Area to Espana. Photo by Anton Luis Catindig

MANILA–President Ferdinand R. Marcos inaugurates on Monday the 5 km elevated first section of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) – South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) Connector that will cut travel time from Caloocan City to Manila to only 5 minutes and would serve as alternative road to 35,000 daily Metro Manila vehicles.

The President said the project is another milestone in national government’s infrastructure that would finally connect NLEX to SLEX and will not only improve mobility but will also push more economic development.

He said Filipinos have long waited for the NLEX Connector which will also form as an integral part of the game-changing Luzon Spine Network under his current administration’s thrust of “Build Better More”.

The President describes the NLEX-SLEX Connector’s 5 minutes travel time from Caloocan to Manila as something that has yet to ever be experienced  by any Filipino but which will further improve the infrastructure landscape of the country. 

President Ferdinand R. Marcos delivering his speech during the inauguration of Caloocan-Manila NLEX Connector. Photo by Anton Luis Catindig

“Manila to Caloocan for only 5 minutes sa sa buong buhay natin ay hindi pa yata natin natikman at naranasan at ngayon ay maari na nating maranasan,” he said. 

NLEX Connector is an 8 km all elevated 4-lanes toll expressway extending the NLEX southward from the end of Segment 10 in C3 Road, Caloocan City to Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) Sta. Mesa, Manila and connecting to the Skyway Stage 3 going to SLEX, and mostly traversing along the PNR rail track .

The first section traverses from Segment 10 in C3 Road, Caloocan to Blumentritt and Espana in Manila and is expected to ease traffic along Espana Boulevard, Abad Santos Avenue, Rizal Avenue and Lacson Avenue and provide easier access to several areas including the University Belt. 

The second section which is nearly 3 km from Espana to PUP and would connect to Skyway Stage 3 is now 42% completed and would be completed by early part of 2024, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Manuel Bonoan. 

The project includes two interchanges located at C3 Road/5th Avenue, Caloocan

The roads and bridges of the Connector will be a great relief for logistic areas because cargos and goods from North and South Luzon will have a speed movement, the President also said.

“These are the roads and bridges that  people will traverse now other than the surface roads, known in other countries as the existing roads,” the president added. 

“We do not stop here. We will continue the inter connectivity of major roads and expansion of bridges in the archipelago. 

We will continue to develop highly interconnected road networks that will serve the country’s rapid and sustained economic growth under our Build Better More thrust,” Mr. Marcos ended. 

NLEX Corp. President J. Luigi Bautista said the project caters to all types of vehicles not only truck loads of goods from North and South Luzon but also including SUV’s, private vehicles, buses and even with 400 cc and above motorcycles. 

Bautista expressed pride that the project in partnership with the DPWH showcased the Filipino capabilities and strong spirit of community and nation building amid the pandemic, the repeated lockdowns, the social distancing and the economic losses

“These covers the construction through partnership with DPWH and Pinoy engineering capabilities on roads which cross over on top of Blumentritt station and Dimasalang areas of LRT 1 and amidst a  traffic environment,” he added.

According to Bautista, NLEX Connector would allow round the clock movement of goods under the supply chain which had hurdled the hardest challenge of relocating informal settlers in the metropolis affected by the right of way. 

Bonoan described the project as the first elevated loop expressway in Metro Manila which despite partial opening, will leave a significant impact to address the chronic traffic in the internal roads of the Metro including Edsa 

“This is a milestone support of the private sector under Build Better More,” Bonoan added.