NLEX Corp. has resumed the construction of its major projects as the National Capital Region shifted to a more relaxed community quarantine.

“We have restarted the construction of major Build! Build! Build! projects. We resumed work on the almost complete Harbor Link C3-R10 expressway early this week,” NLEX Corp. Senior Vice-President for Communication Romulo S. Quimbo, Jr. told BusinessWorld in a phone message on Saturday.

He added that the company has also “restarted” the rehabilitation of the five-kilometer Candaba Viaduct in Pampanga.

The company will also resume “by this week” the expansion of the Subic Freeport Expressway (SFEx) and the construction of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) connector road.

Mr. Quimbo also said that there would be “slight adjustments” in the projects’ timelines to completion.

“Our planning teams are now confirming the delivery dates. We are always ready to accelerate the project delivery,” he added.

Public and private construction projects have been allowed to resume under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) but workers must be housed and fed onsite and observe physical distancing rules, among other requirements for construction work during the pandemic.

Public Works Secretary Mark A. Villar’s Department Order 35 sets rules for carrying out infrastructure projects during the coronavirus pandemic.

The elevated NLEX Harbor Link C3-R10 is the 2.6-kilometer segment that goes through the new Caloocan Interchange in C3 Road, Caloocan City to Radial Road 10, and Navotas City. This connects to the previously opened NLEX Harbor Link Segment 10 that traverses Karuhatan, Valenzuela City, Governor Pascual Avenue in Malabon City, and 5th Avenue/C3 Road, Caloocan City.

The NLEX Harbor Link C3-R10 is intended to improve commuter mobility between airports, seaports, and growth corridors in the north and south.

NLEX opened the Malabon Exit of the Harbor Link C3-R10 expressway in February. The entire expressway was expected to be operational in March, but it did not materialize when President Rodrigo R. Duterte locked down the entire island of Luzon to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, the NLEx connector road project is the eight-kilometer toll road linking the tail of NLEx Harbor Link Segment 10 at C3 Road, Caloocan City to Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Sta. Mesa, Manila. The project aims to provide an alternate route for trucks coming from the port area.

NLEX targets to open the expressway by December next year. Once operational, it is expected to cut travel time from NLEx to SLEx (South Luzon Expressway) to 20 minutes from the usual two hours. It will have a daily capacity of 35,000 motorists.

The SFEx capacity expansion project in Zambales involves the construction of two additional lanes, two new bridges at Jadjad and Argonaut, and a new tunnel on the 8.2-kilometer toll road. NLEX said last year that it was expecting to complete the P1.6-billion project by September this year.

NLEX Corp. is under Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., 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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