NLEX-SLEX connector road completed in 2017 – MPIC

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NLEX-SLEX connector road completed in 2017 – MPIC
The P18-billion toll road awaits the approval of the NEDA Board

MANILA, Philippines – After delays, it looks like the completion of the P18-billion ($404.84 million) toll road connecting the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) is happening by 2017.

Infrastructure giant Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) President Ramoncito Fernandez said the company is awaiting the final approval of the project by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board headed by President Benigno Aquino III.

The NEDA–Investment Coordination Committee (NEDA-ICC) has approved reverting the major road project back to the original proponent status instead of a joint venture with state-run Philippine National Construction Corporation (PNCC), Fernandez said at the 10th year anniversary celebration of Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC) on February 10.

Construction of the NLEX-SLEX connector road should have started 3 years ago.

“So we hope once we start, we can have a connector road that would change the skyline in the metropolis by 2017,” Fernandez said.

Legal roadblocks

Construction of the NLEX-SLEX connector road should have started 3 years ago.

As early as August 2012, the government was supposed to undertake the “Swiss Challenge” process, but the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) recommended that MPIC’s Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corporation (MPTDC) enter into a joint venture agreement with PNCC to expedite the project.

The “Swiss Challenge” can take 3 to 10 months from the publication of the Invitation to Bid to the awarding of the project. Under the process, the original proponent of the unsolicited proposal has the right to match the highest bid.

In May 2010, the NLEX-SLEX connector road project was originally submitted to DPWH under the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Law.

The NEDA Board approved the amendment or extension of existing joint venture between MPTDC and PNCC, as well as the supplemental toll operations agreement (STOA) to cover the NLEX franchise extension under Presidential Decree No. 1894.

But the Department of Justice (DOJ) said the joint venture between MPTDC and PNCC was illegal.

Thus, Malacañang directed the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to subject the P18-billion ($404.84 million) project of the MPIC unit to a “Swiss Challenge” following the DOJ issuance of a legal opinion stating that the project should be reverted back to the unsolicited proposal.

Toward completion

The company could borrow about P15 billion ($337.54 million) to finance the construction of the connector road, MNTC president Rodrigo Franco said.

“That is the estimated project cost. It will depend if the connector road would be approved,” Franco added.

The project would connect NLEX and SLEX via Segment 9 worth P1.9 billion ($42.75 million).

It would be connecting NLEX to MacArthur Highway in Valenzuela and would be completed in March.

The completion of Segment 10 worth P10 billion ($225.01 million), starting from the Mindanao Avenue exit of NLEX to North Harbor is expected in 18 months.

NLEX would be connected to the common alignment at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) in Sta. Mesa to the P26.5 billion ($596.40 million) Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 project of diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corporation (SMC).

The MPIC unit was awarded on February 5 the concession for the 94-kilometer Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) since no proposal countered the firm’s offer under the “Price Challenge” undertaken by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA). –



US$1 = P44.43

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