The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and NLEX Corporation are targeting to complete the first five-kilometer alignment of the NLEX Connector Road this year, covering Caloocan Interchange along C3 to España, Manila Bulletin reported.
They hope to get a good head start next year in building the remaining three-kilometer road, which extends to Sta. Mesa. They plan to finish the entire thoroughfare before the term of the current administration ends.
According to Secretary Mark Villar, the right-of-way delivery is already 81 percent completed, while the construction is at 16 percent.
The construction team uses Super T girders, beams that feature open flanges that provide a complete working surface and reduce the need for foamworks, contributing to faster construction.
The entire NLEX Connector stretches eight kilometers. It will traverse C3 Road in Caloocan City, passing through Abad Santos, Blumentritt, Dimasalang, España, and Magsaysay Boulevard, and then linking to Skyway Stage 3 at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines Sta. Mesa.
The thoroughfare will have four toll plazas and interchanges in C3 and España. Travel time between NLEX and the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) will be reduced to 20 minutes from the usual two hours.
Motorists, especially trucking companies, will experience improved access to Manila Ports (North Harbor) and airports (Ninoy Aquino International Airport and Clark International Airport).
The NLEX Connector Road is expected to facilitate unobstructed delivery of goods, fostering economic growth in Manila, Caloocan, Navotas, and surrounding areas.
North and South Link
The NLEX Connector is the second elevated expressway that links the northern and southern parts of Metro Manila. The Skyway Stage 3, linking NLEX and SLEX, opened last January.
The 44.86-billion project cut travel time between the two expressways from two hours to half an hour. As mentioned in this ABS-CBN News report, experts observed that EDSA traffic was reduced to at least half since the opening of the expressway. According to earlier reports, the thoroughfare was set to clear EDSA of 50,000 vehicles every day.
The thoroughfare remains toll-free as the Toll Regulator Board (TRB) has yet to finalize the proposed toll rates.
Meanwhile, the Metro Manila Subway Project, which is also expected to connect cities in the capital region, will run partial operations by the end of the year, as mentioned in this Philstar report. Three stations will be initially opened.
The tunnel boring machines, which will be used to dig underground and build tunnels, will be arriving on February 5, according to Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade.
Spanning 36 kilometers, the P357-billion Metro Manila subway project will have 17 stations across Metro Manila cities. They are Quirino Highway, Tandang Sora, North Avenue, Quezon Avenue, East Avenue, Anonas, Katipunan, Ortigas (previously called Ortigas North), Shaw (previously called Ortigas South), Kalayaan Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, and FTI.
In June last year, the transportation department expanded the number of stations, including East Valenzuela, Lawton, Senate, NAIA Terminal 3, and Bicutan in the railway system plan, as Business World reported.
The travel time between Valenzuela and NAIA Terminal 3 will likely be 45 minutes instead of the current one and a half hours.
Real Estate Growth
Experts are optimistic that the infrastructure projects rising in the capital region will contribute to increased demand for properties in the area.
In the trend report Lamudi published, outlining 2020’s most popular locations, Metro Manila cities sustained interest despite the number of coronavirus cases in the region. The top locations were cities hosting central business districts (CBD), namely Quezon City, Makati, Pasig, and Taguig.
Cities near these popular locations, including Manila, Parañaque, and Mandaluyong, commanded strong demand as well, as they experienced spillover developments from nearby CBD cities.
Houses and condos, the report added, earned the highest number of pageviews.
This upward trend in terms of demand will likely continue in 2021, as market sentiment improves and local vaccination programs begin. In the latest report from Lamudi titled What’s Next? A Forecast on PH’s Residential and Commercial Real Estate in 2021, Quezon City is expected to see a 3.29 percent increase in pageviews from the first half of the year to the second.
Makati, on the other hand, will have an 8.53 percent growth. Taguig is set to see a spike of 15.87 percent, higher than the 13.32 percent increase recorded last year.
Sources: Manila Bulletin, ABS-CBN News, Philstar, Business World