expressways in the Philippines

NLEX Connector Caloocan-España section opens March 29

Lance Spencer Yu
NLEX Connector Caloocan-España section opens March 29

NLEX CONNECTOR. NLEX Corporation president Luigi Bautista, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista, Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation president and CEO Rodrigo Franco, and Public Works and Highways Secretary Manuel Bonoan inspect the first section of the NLEX Connector.

Jire Carreon/Rappler

The elevated expressway – said to cut travel time between Caloocan and Manila to five minutes – will be toll-free for a limited period

MANILA, Philippines – The Caloocan-España section of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Connector opens to the public starting 12:01 am on Wednesday, March 29 – just ahead of the Holy Week rush.

The five-kilometer section of the elevated expressway is touted to cut travel time between Caloocan and Manila to just five minutes instead of 30 minutes or more when using local roads. The Connector has two wide lanes per direction, with entry and exit ramps at C3 Road and España Boulevard.

The Connector’s first section is expected to ease traffic along España Boulevard, Abad Santos Avenue, Rizal Avenue, and Lacson Avenue while improving access to the University Belt.

The trucking and logistics sector is also set to benefit since cargo trucks will have 24/7 access to the expressway, allowing them to pass routes that might otherwise be affected by truck ban policy hours.

Motorists must also note its strict speed limits, which are set at 60 kph for trucks, and 80 kph cars and buses. Motorcycles using the road must also be categorized as 400cc or above.

The NLEX Connector Caloocan-España section was inaugurated by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Monday, March 27. Once opened, it will offer toll-free access for a limited period.

The second section of the NLEX Connector, from España to Sta. Mesa, broke ground in December 2021 and was expected to be completed by end-2022. Construction is now estimated to be at 42% while right of way acquisition is at 80%, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said during the inauguration of the expressway’s first section. NLEX president and general manager Jose Luigi Bautista also said the second section could completed as early as June.

Once fully operational, the NLEX Connector will stretch eight kilometers from Caloocan City to the Polytechnic University of the Philippines campus in Sta. Mesa, Manila. A public-private partnership project between the Department of Public Works and Highway and Metro Pacific-led NLEX Corporation, the Connector is projected to eventually accommodate as much as 35,000 vehicles daily. –

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