The Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC) has started the construction of the NLEX Karuhatan Valenzuela Interchange, the last major infrastructure needed to complete the 2.42 kilometer Segment 9, that will link NLEX to MacArthur Highway in Valenzuela City.
Now 80 percent complete, the modern four-lane Segment 9 cost P1.59 billion. It features two pedestrian foot-bridges, two vehicular overpasses, and seven drainage box culverts.
Expected to be completed in March this year, Segment 9 aims to make the expressway more accessible to travelers, especially those from Metro Manila.
“By linking NLEX and MacArthur Highway, we expect to see increased economic activities between Metro Manila and Central and Northern Luzon,” Rodrigo E. Franco, MNTC president and CEO, said.
Segment 9 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.
“The new tollway will especially be beneficial to the factories and industrial plants in CAMANAVA since it will improve transport logistics through the more efficient movement of trucks,” Franco pointed out.
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 the transport of 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 53,000 vehicles by the year 2037.
“When Segments 9 and 10 become operational, the country’s port congestion problem will be a thing of the past,” Franco noted.