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CLLEX is set to increase ecotourism, give farmers and entrepreneurs the opportunity to deliver goods faster

Motorists and commuters can now use parts of the Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEX) following an 18km section of the flagship infrastructure project, which opened on 15 July.

We will inaugurate … the first 18 km section of CLLEX from the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) / Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) link in Tarlac City up to the junction of Aliaga-Guimba Road in Aliaga, Nueva Ecija, ”said Mark A. Villar, Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary (DPWH), during an inspection on 14 July.

Attending Villar at the event were Emil K. Sadain, DPWH Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations, and Project Director Benjamin A. Bautista.

Sadain noted that the newly opened section of the four-lane motorway included three contract packages for the 4.1 km Tarlac section, the 6.2 km long Rio Chico River Bridge section and the 9.2 km Aliaga section with ramps at Guimba. Aliaga Road.

The packages are part of a 30 km project worth P11.811 billion, implemented under the “Build, Build, Build” agenda with financial assistance from Japan
International Cooperation Agency. Since the project is not a public-private partnership, it will be free.

The remaining stretch will open soon, Villar said. The 10.3 km long Cabanatuan section was already at 88.7 percent and the Zaragoza Interchange section at 26.9 percent.

CLLEX is an important east-west connection in central Luzon that shortens travel time between the cities of Tarlac and Cabanatuan from 70 to 20 minutes.

CLLEX will also ensure a smooth traffic flow to and from Metro Manila through the North Luzon Expressway, SCTEX and TPLEX. It is expected to serve approx. 11,200 people daily, and it will eliminate traffic on Daang Maharlika, increase ecotourism and allow farmers and entrepreneurs to deliver goods faster.

Another phase extends CLLEX to San Jose City in Nueva Ecija, making the entire route 65.7 km long.

CLLEX is just one of DPWH’s 15,000 projects for 2016-2020 across Central Luzon – Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Pampanga and Zambales. Regionwide, the agency completed 2,438 km of road and 489 national bridges.

That number covers Pulilan-Baliuag Bypass Road, which opened in March, and Bagac-Mariveles Diversion Road, which opened in December. Last May, DPWH opened the Luyos-Buliran Bridge in San Antonio, Nueva Ecija, as well as an access road leading to declared tourist destinations from MacArthur Highway to New Clark City (NCC) via Kalangitan Road in Capas, Tarlac.

The public can start using the extended 2.2 km Plaridel Bypass project phase 3 on 21 July. Phase 2 of the Ciudad de Victoria Interchange Bypass Road in Bulacan is also set to connect Bocaue to Santa Maria, Bulacan without going through Governor F. Halili Road.

High-impact projects are also intended for completion. The San Jose-Palauig Road and Capas-Botolan Road connecting Tarlac and Zambales will be open in 2022 and 2024, respectively. The Lubao-Guagua-Minalin-Santo Tomas Bypass Road, a vital component of the Pampanga Megalopolis Master Plan, is 64 percent complete.

Tarlac has seen construction of roads leading to NCC. DPWH improves Manila North Road to SCTEX Luisita Access Road. Completed in December, there is an access road from MacArthur Highway to Tarlac-Zambales Road via Kalangitan.

“DPWH has worked 24/7, even in the face of this pandemic, to complete all projects committed under the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program following instructions from the CEO to achieve our goals before going down as the country’s 16th president, ”Villar said.

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