THE North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) will open by March a new link to Valenzuela City. This is part of the bigger project linking Port Area to NLEX expected to be finished by next year.
NLEX operator Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC) said they have started construction of the NLEX Karuhatan Valenzuela Interchange, the last major infrastructure needed to complete Segment 9.
Currently 80 percent complete, Segment 9 is a 2.42-kilometer four-lane expressway from the end of the NLEX Mindanao Avenue Link to MacArthur Highway in Valenzuela City.
MNTC said Segment 9, costing P1.6 billion will dramatically facilitate the movement of people and goods between Central and Northern Luzon and Metro Manila, particularly the Caloocan-Malabon-Navotas-Valenzuela (Camanava) area.
MNTC president and chief executive officer Rodrigo Franco said the new tollway will especially be beneficial to the factories and industrial plants in Camanava.
Citing an example, Franco said trucks going to Camanava via NLEX can take the west-bound ramp at the Smart Connect Interchange, proceed through Segment 9 and take MacArthur Highway instead of exiting at the Valenzuela Interchange and passing through the congested Maysan Road.
Trucks going to the Port Area can take the same route and pass by Monumento in Caloocan instead of exiting at Balintawak and going through traffic-heavy EDSA.
The economic benefits Segment 9 will bring are expected to increase further when Segment 10 of the NLEX Harbor Link is finished in late 2016.
Segments 9 and 10 will be linked via the NLEX Karuhatan Valenzuela Interchange. Stretching 5.65 kilometers long, Segment 10 will largely be an elevated expressway, directly linking NLEX and MacArthur Highway to Manila’s Port Area district.
Segment 10 will primarily cater to port traffic and is envisioned to significantly speed up and reduce the cost of transporting goods from Central and Northern Luzon to the country’s premier harbors.
MNTC is projecting an average daily traffic of some 27,000 vehicles for Segment 9 during its first year of operation. However, this number is expected to rise sharply when Segment 10 opens, reaching an estimated 53,000 vehicles by 2037.
“When Segments 9 and 10 become operational, the country’s port congestion problem will be a thing of the past,” Franco said.