NLEX Corp. plans to start this year the construction of a two-kilometer expressway section between the existing Mindanao Avenue toll plaza and Quirino Highway in Novaliches, Quezon City, the company’s top official said.

The company also intends to start work on the third bridge at Candaba Viaduct.

“[W]e welcome 2022 with optimism as there are big-ticket projects that we will complete and commence this year,” NLEX Corp. President and General Manager J. Luigi L. Bautista said in an e-mailed statement over the weekend.

He was referring to the NLEX C5 Link Mindanao Avenue-Quirino Highway Section, the Candaba Third Viaduct, and the NLEX Connector.

The NLEX C5 Link Mindanao Avenue-Quirino Highway Section is “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 company said.

The project is expected to cut travel time between Mindanao Avenue and Commonwealth Avenue to 10 minutes from the usual 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, the planned third bridge at Candaba Viaduct will “expand its capacity from three lanes to four lanes per direction, enhancing the mobility and safety of motorists,” NLEX Corp. said.

“The eight-kilometer NLEX Connector that passes through 5th Avenue/C3 Road, España Boulevard all the way to Sta. Mesa, Manila is targeted for completion this year,” it added.

The company recently signed an agreement with China Road and Bridges Corp. for the civil works contract of the remaining three kilometers of its connector project in Manila. The project is between the future España and Sta. Mesa interchanges, the second section of the eight-kilometer NLEX Connector.

“This elevated expressway will provide supply chain and logistics sector with a more efficient route, bypassing busy roads such as EDSA and C5,” NLEX Corp. said.

The company also said it completed 12 projects on North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) – Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) last year.

“Among the major projects completed last year were the expansion of Subic Freeport Expressway (SFEX), upgrade of link slabs at Candaba Viaduct Southbound, and the rehabilitation of Meycauayan and Bigaa bridges in Bulacan,” it noted.

The company added that it also completed some upgrades in its toll collection system, including the installation of radio-frequency identification (RFID) early detection features on 56 toll lanes. “With this project, the enhanced RFID scanners can detect up to three vehicles in advance for quick processing of toll lane transactions.”

It also equipped the Balintawak, Mindanao, Karuhatan, Paso de Blas, and Tarlac toll plazas with automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) system. “It is being used to match RFID transactions, improve safety, and enforce traffic laws,” the company said.

NLEX Corp. is part of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., the tollway unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC).

MPIC is one of three key Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT, Inc. Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Arjay L. Balinbin