By Denise A. Valdez, Reporter
THE Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) started on Friday the construction of the P635-million Ciudad de Victoria Interchange near the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
The project aims to ease road congestion at the Bocaue exit of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) and provide an alternate route from the crowded Governor F. Halili road via the 5.143-kilometer stretch of road near the Ciudad de Victoria complex which houses the Philippine Arena, and an 80-meter bridge crossing NLEx.
“The new NLEX (Ciudad de Victoria) Interchange is regarded as one of the government’s traffic decongestion projects aimed at improving the Bulacan road network, particularly Bocaue, Sta. Maria, Pandi, Norzagaray, San Jose Del Monte, and Marilao, as well as boosting the economic activities in nearby communities,” DPWH Secretary Mark A. Villar said.
Phase 1 of the project covers the 80-meter bridge, an additional two lanes in the Bocaue Municipal Road, and a 1.93-kilometer road from Ciudad de Victoria to Sta. Maria Bypass Road. This phase is scheduled to finish in October.
The second phase includes the improvement of a 1.91-kilometer road from MacArthur Highway to the Bocaue Municipal Road and the construction of 800-meter acceleration and deceleration lanes heading to the Philippine Arena.
The last phase will see the construction of a 1.3-kilometer road from Ciudad de Victoria to Patubig Road in Marilao, Bulacan.
“[T]he new NLEX Interchange is expected to further improve the accessibility of the Philippine Arena, which was tapped to host the grand opening ceremony of the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in November,” MDC Chief Operations Officer Glicerio Santos IV said in a statement, referring to the completion of Phase 1 in October.
The DPWH said it expects the rest of the project to finish by Nov. 17, as it gave the contractor L.R. Tiqui Builders 300 days to build the interchange.