NLEX segment 9 seen opening in Q1 2015

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Listed infrastructure giant Metro Pacific Investments Corp., through its unit, Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), is set to open and start the operations of its elevated highway project along the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) by the first quarter of next year.

“We’re more confident of completing this road in the first quarter of next year. We’d like to finalize the toll collection regime in this road,” MPTC President Ramoncito Fernandez told reporters in a briefing over the weekend.

“After completing this road, we will file for a certificate of substantial completion and, eventually, [secure a]toll operating permit to obtain right parameters in our tolls for Segment 9,” he added.

MPTC earlier announced that it projected the completion of the construction of the elevated highway, dubbed NLEX Segment 9, before the end of the year.

NLEX Segment 9 is a P1.59-billion, 2.4-kilometer (km), four-lane, elevated expressway along NLEX stretching from the Smart Connect Interchange Cloverleaf to the MacArthur Highway in Valenzuela City.

Fernandez also disclosed that NLEX Segment 10.1, a 5.65-km road that starts where NLEX Segment 9 ends and spans all the way to C3 Road, is presently under the pre-construction phase amid delays brought about by the Swiss Challenge that the project was required to undergo.

“Pre-construction works are being done. Here in Segment 10.1, we are definitely more careful considering the magnitude of the investment we will put in. We’d like more clarity in the tariff before spending more on this area,” Fernandez said.

MPTC officials earlier said that the project would likely be constructed through a joint venture.

NLEX Segment 9 and 10.1 are being developed by the joint venture between the Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corp. (MPTDC) and state-run Philippine National Construction Corp. as part of the NLEX-South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) Connector Road project.

The NLEX-SLEX Connector Road project costs P18 billion, which will be funded by Citra Metro Manila Tollways Corp., which is also building the P26.7-billion Skyway Stage 3 Project.

MPIC Chairman Manuel Pangilinan earlier said that the Connector Road project is likely to be completed by 2017 to 2018 as opposed to the earlier target of 2016. The project includes a 5-km common road from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines to Buendia in Makati City as well as a 14.8-km, six-lane, elevated expressway that will link the tail-end of Buendia to Balintawak.

MPIC holds MPTDC as a subsidiary, which, in turn, holds the Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC) that operates the NLEX. PNCC, meanwhile, holds NLEX, which the MNTC operates in behalf of the government.

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