By Ted P. Torres Updated May 23, 2009 12:00 AM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Bank (PNB) has extended a P2.1-billion loan to Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC) for the Phase 2-Segment 8.1 project at the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX).
Phase 2 consists of four satellite road projects with an aggregate length of 22.486 kilometers. Segment 8.1 is the first step towards completing the entire Phase 2 Project. It is a 2.7-kilometer stretch linking Mindanao Avenue to NLEX in Valenzuela City.
The project is designed to decongest traffic in the Balintawak-EDSA junction as motorists will have the option to pass through Mindanao Avenue to get to NLEX, thereby avoiding the costly and time-consuming traffic jams along EDSA and other choke points within Metro Manila.
Similar to NLEX Phase 1, Segment 8.1 will be fully equipped with toll collection, traffic management and telecommunication systems, as well as emergency call boxes and laybays.
“Modernization and expansion of our highway system will spur development of industries especially in the countryside because these will be strategically linked to key growth areas,” MNTC chairman Florencia G. Tarrielasaid in a statement.
Phase 1 and 2 are part of a bigger road infrastructure program worth P38.1 billion.
The various projects in the pipeline consists of Segment 8.1, Segment 9 and 10 in MacArthur Highway in Valenzuela City, NLEX-SLEX connector road expressway and Skyway Stage 2.
Breakdown of the estimated project cost include Segment 8.1 with P2.1 billion, Segments 9 and 10 entailing P10 billion, the NLEX-SLEX connector expressway requiring investments of P16 billion while the Skyway Stage 2 will need more than P10 billion to construct.
The total cost of the package will amount to P38 billion with another P5 billion required from the government for right of way (ROW) acquisition.