NLEX Corp. to build P5.5 billion Candaba Swamp third viaduct


By Arjay L. Balinbin, Senior reporter

NLEX Corp., a unit of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), hopes to begin construction of a third Candaba 5.5 billion P5.5 billion later this year, said its president and CEO.

The Candaba Viaduct is a dam road that allows motorists to cross the section of the swamp between Pulilan, Bulacan and Apalit, Pampanga.

“What we are busy with today, apart from the NLEX Connector project, is that we are offering the Candaba Viaduct, (which we call the third viaduct,” said NLEX Corp.’s J. Luigi L. Bautista Business World in a random interview.

“Today you have the northbound viaduct and the southbound viaduct, right? What we want to do is build a third viaduct in the middle, ”he added.

He said two contractors were competing for the project. “We are in the process of selecting a contractor.”

Construction is expected to take two years, “if not in the latter part of the third quarter, perhaps in the beginning of the fourth quarter of this year,” noted Mr. Bautista.

The viaduct is a bottleneck for vehicles driving north and south along the NLEX, where the available lanes are narrowed from the normal width on dry land.

The company also plans to start this year the construction of a two-kilometer-long highway section between the Mindanao Avenue toll plaza and the Quirino Highway in Novaliches, Quezon City.

It is currently awaiting approval from the Toll Regulation Council for the implementation of fifirst section of the proposed NLEX-CAVITEX Port Expressway Link project of 92 billion P92 billion.

The 15-kilometer (km) NLEX-CAVITEX Port Expressway Link project was originally a joint unsolicited proposal with the Manila-Cavite Expressway (CAVITEX) submitted to the Department of Public Works and Highways in 2019 to expand the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX).

MPTC’s capital expenditure budget for the year is set at P32 billion. It recently opened the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway project in Cebu.

MPTC expects the completion of NLEX Connector Phase 1, Cavite-Laguna Expressway – Cavite Segment, NLEX Segment 8.2 Section 1A, NLEX Connector Phase 2, and CAVITEX C5 Link projects this year.

MPTC is the toll unit in Metro Pacific Investments Corp., one of three key Philippine entities in Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others are Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT, Inc.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in Business World through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls.

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