The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) targets to open to motorists the major segment of Central Luzon Link Expressway or CLLEX Phase 1 leading to Cabanatuan City by end of this year.
According to DPWH Secretary Mark A. Villar, the CLLEX Phase 1 is now 82% completed and about 25 kilometer stretch is targeted to open by December 2020.
Secretary Villar said that the CLLEX project is a 4-lane 30-kilometer expressway from SCTEX (Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway) and TPLEX (Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway) connection in Balincanaway, Tarlac City and ends at Daang Maharlika in Brgy. Caalibangbangan, Cabanatuan City.
The P14.94-billion flagship infrastructure project is designed to facilitate the movement of goods and services from SCTEX/TPLEX to the eastern part of Luzon towards Cagayan Valley bypassing some town centers of Bulacan and Nueva Ecija, said Secretary Villar and will cut travel time between Tarlac City and Cabanatuan City from 70 minutes to just 20 minutes.
At least 11,200 motorists and commuters would be served by CLLEX daily and ease traffic at Daang Maharlika Highway by about 48% Secretary Villar added.
In his ocular inspection, DPWH Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations & Technical Services Emil K. Sadain assessed that with the full blast resumption of construction works due recent work suspension brought about by COVID-19 pandemic, the first three (3) contract packages (CP) and substantial portion of CP-4 will be completed by the end of the year as construction activities are now being fast tracked with the contractors observing the construction safety guidelines issued by DPWH.
The project funded by the Government of the Philippines and an Official Development Assistance (ODA) from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is being implemented by DPWH-UPMO Roads Management Cluster 1 headed by Project Director Virgilio Castillo to provide a reliable road network in Central Luzon.
Undersecretary Sadain said that although work suspension order was imposed, CP-1 or the 4.1 kilometer Tarlac Section is already completed including the 300 meter temporary off and on-ramp constructed at the beginning of Rio Chico River Bridge Section or CP-2.
Undersecretary Sadain also reported that the 6.4 kilometer CP-2 which involves the construction of 1.5 kilometer Rio Chico River viaduct, 42 meter Sta Lucia River Bridge, 38 meter La Paz-Victoria underpass bridge is 94.78% completed.
He directed that double efforts be exerted on the 9.2 kilometer CP-3 covering Aliaga section which includes the construction of 42 meter Guimba-Aliaga underpass bridge and Aliaga interchange which is 67.83% completed and the 10.3 kilometer CP-4 or Cabanatuan Section which also covers Cabanatuan and San Juan interchanges which is 68.65% completed.
An additional 4.8 kilometer component of the expressway project from the junction of Carmen-Cabanatuan Road is the Zaragoza Interchange section which comprises of 2.8 kilometer access free road and 2 kilometer interchange ramp that will cross over the embankment of CLLEX main expressway by an overpass said Undersecretary Sadain.