THE tollways unit of San Miguel Corp. (SMC) is starting the construction of the South Luzon Expressway Toll Road 4 (SLEx TR-4) to help ease traffic in the south of Metro Manila.
In a statement on Monday, the company said South Luzon Tollway Corp. (SLTC) will break ground today on the 66.74-kilometer toll road, which is expected to cut travel time to and from provinces in the south and the metro.
“Once we finish this tollway, the peace and order situation in Quezon and Bicol will improve. Local tourism will improve. New businesses will emerge. Progress will be brought to the level of the small towns and barangays,” SMC President Ramon S. Ang said in the statement.
The four-lane highway will start in Sto. Tomas, Batangas and end in Brgy. Mayao, Quezon. It is designed to reduce travel time between the two points to 45 minutes from the usual three hours once it opens in 1.5 years.
Mr. Ang said he expects to inaugurate the project in 36 months.
The SLEx TR-4 project costs P13.1 billion, based on a brief on the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) website. It involves six sections, namely the 11.32-kilometer portion from Sto. Tomas to Makban, Laguna; 12.75 kilometers to San Pablo, Laguna; 7.5 kilometers to Tiaong, Quezon; 15 kilometers to Candelaria, Quezon; 10.21 kilometers to Tayabas Quezon; and 9.96 kilometers to Brgy. Mayao, Quezon.
“We believe that the TR-4 will further unlock the economic potential and promote tourism in Laguna, Batangas, Quezon and Bicol provinces. With the growing population of Metro Manila, more and more people and businesses will move to these provinces due to these areas’ proximity,” Mr. Ang added. — Denise A. Valdez