The Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC) is planning to submit a proposal to the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) to widen the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) from Bocaue, Bulacan up to the whole stretch of San Fernando City, Pampanga.
The road-widening plan will help decongest traffic in NLEX toll exits especially during Easter, Christmas and All Saint’s Day when people rush to go to their hometowns in the northern part of the country.
“The studies are still ongoing, hopefully in the next two months, we can submit the proposal to TRB,” said Rodrigo Franco, president and chief executive officer of MNTC.
“From Bocaue up to San Fernando, we are expanding from two lanes to three lanes,” Franco added.
Last year, MNTC said that it is planning to spend at least P4 billion for the expansion of NLEX.
MNTC earlier said that there are two sections that will be expanded, namely: the stretch from Dau to Santa Ines and from Santa Rita to San Fernando, all cutting across Pampanga province.
MNTC is planning to add three lanes for each direction to the Santa Rita to San Fernando segment.
Franco said that the vehicular flow in that segment is beginning to increase, but has not yet reached critical level.
Citing pronouncements from TRB, he said that sooner or later the NLEX would reach its service quality level limit. NLEX is set to hit critical stage by 2018, according to a TRB assessment.
Meanwhile, the Dau to Santa Ines segment currently has two lanes with one lane in each direction. Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) is the parent company of MNTC.
MPTC is a subsidiary of conglomerate of Metro Pacific Investments Corp., which is led by tycoon Manuel Pangilinan.
The expansion project will start as soon as MNTC acquires the notice to proceed from the TRB.