PGMA inaugurates P2.1-B NLEX-Mindanao Avenue Link

June 5, 2010 11:01 pm 

MANILA, June 5 — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo inaugurated on Saturday the P2.1-billion North Luzon Expressway (NLEX)-Mindanao Ave. Link or Segment 8.1 that will significantly help decongest northbound EDSA traffic.

The 2.7-kilometer Segment 8.1 connects NLEX, at its Valenzuela City junction, to Mindanao Ave. in Novaliches, Quezon City. It enables motorists to bypass high-density areas approaching the Balintawak toll plaza in Caloocan City.

The new segment kicks off the NLEX’s multibillion-peso road network expansion program of the Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), the mother company of the Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC) which constructed the Segment 8.1.

The President, who arrived at 11:30 a.m., was received by Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Victor Domingo, MPTC and MNTC chairman Manuel Pangilinan, Valenzuela 2nd District Representative Magtanggol Gunigundo, and Valenzuela City Mayor Sherwin Gatchalian.

On board a coaster, President Arroyo led the inaugural drive-through that signaled the start of the commercial operation of Segment 8.1.

The new segment, which started construction on April 21, 2009, was opened to the public today.

At the toll gate of the Mindanao Ave. Exit, the President handed over a cash payment of P91, the corresponding toll rate for a coaster vehicle, as “buena mano.”

The distinctive feature of this segment is a full cloverleaf interchange – three times larger in area than the Balintawak cloverleaf – that will allow motorists to enter and leave the main tollway from whatever direction without making full stop.

It is expected to serve up to 30,000 vehicles daily during the initial year.

After the inaugural rites, President Arroyo awarded the Order of Lakandula with Rank of Bayani to Pangilinan in recognition of his significant contribution to Philippine society as an eminent businessman, inspiring leader and as philanthropist.

The Order of Lakandula is one of the highest honors given by the Philippine government to an individual who displayed leadership, prudence, fortitude, courage and resolve in the service of his people.

With President Arroyo as witness, Pangilinan presented the unsolicited proposal for the NLEX-South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) Connection Project to DPWH’s Secretary Domingo.

The proposed Connection Road project is an alternative north-south linkage at the core of Metro Manila and is a natural extension of the NLEX system.

It aims to decongest Metro Manila by providing an alternative to C-5 Road, EDSA and other major thoroughfares. It will cut travel time from Skyway/SLEX to NLEX to about one hour. (PNA) scs/OPS/rsm

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