THE second segment of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) unit’s NLEX Connector Road is set to be completed by the end of June if right-of-way acquisitions go as planned, NLEX Corp.’s president said.

NLEX Connector Road, an 8-kilometer expressway linking the Caloocan Interchange on Circumferential Road 3 (C-3) to Magsaysay Interchange at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, is managed by MPTC unit NLEX Corp.

“Provided that we get all the right of way from the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways), we think we will be able to complete (the second section) by the end of June. That’s from España all the way to Magsaysay interchange,” NLEX Corp. President and General Manager Jose Luigi L. Bautista said on the sidelines of the inauguration of the project’s first phase.

“If they are able to deliver all of the remaining right of way by April, we would be able to finish by June.”

To date, Mr. Bautista said that the second segment of the NLEX Connector project has obtained 80% of the right of way to be acquired, while construction is 42% complete.

Mr. Bautista said the remaining right of way to be acquired is in the Magsaysay Boulevard area.

On Monday, MPTC inaugurated the first five-kilometer section of the NLEX Connector Road which is set to be opened to the public as soon as the company is cleared to do so by the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB).

“TRB has a board meeting and one of the things that they will discuss there is the permit to allow us to open. If we get the permit (by early Tuesday), I think by the afternoon (of the same day) we will be able to open,” Mr. Bautista said.

MPTC proposed to the TRB an P84-P85 toll for road users traveling between the Caloocan Interchange and España, according to Mr. Bautista.

“We will see about the results of the board meeting of the TRB. It is possible that we let motorists use it for free for a month, so that they can get comfortable using it,” Mr. Bautista said.

He said any such opening would be in time for the Easter holidays, allowing cars feeding into the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) to be distributed among Mindanao Avenue, Balintawak and España.

During the week of Easter, Mr. Bautista said NLEX and Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway users are expected to number at least 350,000 a day.

“Our December figure was around 10-15% higher, so it could be around that number,” he said.

MPTC is 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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