By Denise A. Valdez
ADVANCED completion in July is being targeted for the Manila-Cavite Expressway (Cavitex) road-widening project and the construction of the southbound Marina flyover.
After an ocular inspection on the site on Friday, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark A. Villar told reporters that the construction may finish earlier than its original August deadline.
MPCALA Holdings, Inc. President Luigi L. Bautista said contractors were advised to finish construction of both the additional lanes and the Marina left-turn flyover earlier than scheduled.
“We’re talking of the lane widening of R1 expressway, one lane on both sides. And then the other project is the Marina left-turning flyover. So both of these are originally scheduled to be finished in August. We told the contractors to finish it end of July,” he said.
Cavitex Infrastructure Corporation (CIC) is working to add one lane on both sides of the expressway, which Mr. Bautista said will increase road capacity by 25%.
Meanwhile, the southbound flyover will eliminate stop-and-go operations at Pacific Drive. “For the longest time we have a signalization there eh. Right now you need not stop. You just go straight to Macapagal using the left-turn flyover,” he noted.
Mr. Bautista said the company invested P800 million in the two projects. Once completed, the company is looking to work on expanding the toll plaza by adding 15 new toll booths.
“With the toll plaza, we’re adding five permanent toll booths plus an additional 10 portable toll booths that will be put in place in a fish bone configuration. So all in all we have additional 15 toll booths. Siguro [Maybe] by the end of fourth quarter,” he told reporters.
MPCALA Holdings is also working on Segment 4 and 5 extensions, which are still part of the government concession agreement. Segment 4 will connect Cavitex to the Cavite Laguna Expressway (CALAEx), while Segment 5 extends from Kawit to Rosario. Mr. Bautista said Segment 5 may also be extended up to Tanza and Naig, which would mean an additional 7 kilometers.
“Segment 5 is around P22 billion. We’ll finish the feasibility study by about end of June. (Then) we’ll be submitting the business proposal…. Segment 4 is going to be constructed concurrently with CALAEx. That’s P1.2 billion. That’s only 1.2 kilometers,” he said.
When all upgrades on Cavitex are completed, toll fees are expected to increase as well, upon approval by the Toll Regulatory Board.
MPCALA Holdings, which is part of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), is the private concessionaire for the Cavitex project.
MPIC is one of three Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., others being PLDT, Inc. and Philex Mining Corp. Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls.