THE long-delayed Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Expressway will be opened to the public before the year ends, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said Monday.
The P17.9-billion elevated toll road was awarded in 2012 as a public-private partnership deal by the Aquino administration to conglomerate San Miguel Corp. through its subsidiary and concession firm Vertex Tollways Development, Inc.
The civil works contractor is D.M. Consunji, Inc., with Design Science Inc. and Pertconsult International as partners.
It was supposed to be completed in time for the November 2015 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Summit, but issues such as inability to obtain right of way delayed construction work.
DPWH Secretary Mark Villar on Monday vowed to make the expressway accessible to commuters within the first 100 days of the Duterte administration, or during the second week of October.
“We are in the process of doing safety checks. With the help of [the Department of Transportation], we are confident that the public would soon be able to access a key phase of the NAIA Expressway Project within the first 100 days of President Rodrigo Duterte,” Villar said.
With the opening of the second phase of the project later, he expressed confidence that traffic around NAIA Terminals 1, 2, 3 and 4 would be decongested.
“Passenger traffic at NAIA has an average annual growth rate of 9.5 percent. The cost of congestion per day in Metro Manila is P2.4 billion. We are keen in ensuring that the chronic traffic congestion at the vicinity of the airport is solved almost immediately,” the DPWH chief said.
To date, overall progress of civil works activities is at 79 percent with the Parañaque River segment already 100 percent complete.
The NAIA Expressway project consists of a four-lane, 7.75-kilometer elevated expressway and a 2.22-kilometer at-grade road traversing Sales Avenue, Andrews Avenue, the Parañaque River, MIAA Road and Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard.
When all phases are completed, it is expected to provide easy access to and from NAIA Terminals 1, 2, 3 and 4 and link to the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) through Sales Interchange, as well as the Manila Cavite Toll Expressway (Cavitex) and Macapagal Boulevard.
A total of 16 off and on ramps are being constructed along strategic locations at Villamor Airbase, Resorts World Manila, NAIA Terminal 3, MIAA Road, Imelda Avenue, Cavitex, Seaside Drive and Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard.
Villar said the NAIA Expressway would significantly reduce average travel time between Skyway and SLEX and NAIA Terminal 1 from approximately 24.3 minutes to 8.2 minutes, and benefit 80,000 travellers per day.