Delayed right-of-way acquisition takes a toll on NLEX Harbor Link

Chrisee Dela Paz

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Delayed right-of-way acquisition takes a toll on NLEX Harbor Link
A toll road from Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City to C3 or 5th Avenue in Caloocan City could be open to motorists by December 2016

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government should deliver full right-of-way acquisition within the year to complete the construction of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Harbor Link by December 2016, its builder and concessionaire said.

NLEX Harbor Link consists of Segments 9 and 10. Segment 9 directly connects Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City to MacArthur Highway in Valenzuela City, while Segment 10, upon completion, will start from MacArthur Highway and run through C3 or 5th Avenue in Caloocan City.

Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) President Ramoncito Fernandez told reporters Tuesday, July 21, that they already completed 15% of Segment 10, and that it opened Segment 9 in March.

“Even with right-of-way issues, we are targeting [to complete the whole NLEX] Harbor Link by December 2016,” Fernandez said.

Fernandez said the company started construction of NLEX Harbor Link in June 2014 even without 100% right-of-way delivery. 

DELAYED. MNTC initially targets to complete Harbor Link by third quarter this year.

Project delayed

Delayed right-of-way acquisition is the reason MPTC moved its initial completion target, Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC) president Rodrigo Franco said.

Its new completion target is about 7 months behind its initial estimate of the third quarter of this year.

“We’re already slightly delayed by a couple of months but the December 2016 completion target is still doable,” Fernandez added.

“As of now, DOTC (Department of Transportation and Communications) and DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) delivered 25% of right-of-way. We’re hoping they can deliver the rest within the year,” Franco told reporters.

Franco and Fernandez, however, are optimistic that the government will provide 100% right-of-way within the year so as not to further delay the project.

“We are confident that the government will deliver right-of-way within the year. All of us want it to be done by next year of course,” Franco said.

CONNECTOR ROAD. Other than NLEX Harbor Link, MNTC also wants to build a 5-kilometer road that will connect C3 in Caloocan to Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Sta Mesa, Manila.
Swiss challenge
MNTC, concessionaire for NLEX Harbor Link, tapped Leighton Contractors Asia Limited to construct the project.
Daily traffic for Segment 10 is projected to average 30,000 vehicles. In the first quarter of the year, vehicle traffic at NLEX hit 182,000, or 6% more than last year.
MNTC also wants to construct, operate and maintain Segment 10.2 or the NLEX-South Luzon Expressway Connector Road, which is a 5-kilometer road that will connect C3 in Caloocan City to Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) campus in Sta Mesa, Manila. Some portions of this segment will be elevated above the railroad tracks of the Philippine National Railways.
The NLEX-SLEX Connector Road, however, will still be subjected to a Swiss challenge, which will involve other companies challenging the proposal of MNTC.
Should the Swiss challenge push through within the year, Fernandez said the road deal could be completed in 2017.
Apart from NLEX, MNTC also operates the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX). The company is a unit of MPTC, which is a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation. –

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