The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is planning to build a P29-billion expressway that will connect the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (Sctex) and Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Toll Expressway (Tplex) to Cabanatuan City.
DPWH Undersecretary Rafael Yabut told reporters that the government will bid out the Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEx) project before the end of the year.
DPHW said that CLLEx forms an important lateral (east-west) link of high standard highway network within the 200-kilometer radius from Metro Manila.
Phase 1 of the CLLEx will cost P14.93 billion. It involves construction of a 4-lane expressway with a length of 30.7 kilometers that will connect Tarlac and Cabanatuan City. This will have five interchanges, seven bridges with a length of 1,886 meters each, and 38 overpass/underpass constructions.
This portion of the CLLEx diverges from SCTEx at 2.5 kilometers north of Luisita Interchange and traverses Central Luzon in the east-west direction that ends up in Cabanatuan City.
The project will be financed through the official development assistance (ODA) while the Operation and Maintenance (O & M) will be under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) structure.
DPWH said the project’s objectives are: To provide fast, safe, comfortable and reliable means of transport in Region III (Central Luzon); to decongest traffic on the Pan-Philippine Highway (Daang Maharlika); to support the socio-economic development of Tarlac and Cabanatuan City, thus contributing to the decongestion in Metro Manila; to form an important lateral (east-west) link for the overall expressway network of Region III; and to provide faster access from Metro Manila to Cabanatuan City, which is the base city for the Pacific Ocean Coastal Area Development.
Phase II, or the Cabanatuan-San Jose, Nueva Ecija development, will cost P14.20 billion. It involves the construction of a 35.7-kilometer 2-lane expressway that will connect Cabanatuan City and San Jose City.
When completed, the expressway will support the development of regional urban centers in Central Luzon and the Pacific Ocean Coastal Areas in order to decrease over-concentration of socio-economic activities in Metro Manila, according to the DPWH.
Yabut said the project’s ODA component will be open for bidding before the end of this year, while the PPP component is expected to be offered for bidding by mid next year.