NLEX Corp. is targeting to start the construction of a two-kilometer expressway connecting its Mindanao Avenue toll plaza to Quirino Highway in Novaliches, Quezon City by late August or early September, a company official said.

“We are targeting late August or early September, if we get the approvals required,” Romulo S. Quimbo, Jr., NLEX Corp. senior vice-president for communications, told BusinessWorld in a phone message on July 16.

The P2-billion expressway section is expected to benefit NLEX commuters who “currently face daily traffic gridlock in the congested portions of Mindanao Avenue,” NLEX Corp. President and General Manager J. Luigi L. Bautista said in a recent statement.

The section will be integrated into the future NLEX expansion to C5/C.P. Garcia near Katipunan Avenue.

“We foresee an interconnected tollway network that will be accessible to the west, east, north, and south sides of Metro Manila,” Mr. Bautista said.

The new project is part of the government’s Build, Build, Build program. It is also part of the 11.5-kilometer NLEX C5 Link between Mindanao Avenue, Quirino Highway, Regalado Avenue, Congressional Avenue and C.P. Garcia Avenue in Quezon City.

The extension project will provide an alternate route to the ports of Manila via NLEX Harbor Link all the way to the new Navotas Interchange along Mel Lopez Boulevard, or R-10.

The company said the entire NLEX C5 Link is expected to be used by 45,000 motorists daily and reduce travel time between Mindanao Avenue and Commonwealth Avenue to 10 minutes from the usual 45 minutes.

NLEX Corp. is a unit of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., itself the tollways unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp., one of three key Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT, Inc.

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