P8-B connector road plan facing further delay

February 18, 2016 at 13:29

P8-B connector road plan facing further delay

By: Miguel R. Camus | February 17, 2016

Motorists will have to wait longer for the completion of an 8-kilometer connector tollroad linking the northern and southern portions of Metro Manila, with the project now expected to be finished at the end of 2020, its concessionaire said.

Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. CEO and president Rodrigo Franco said an interview on Tuesday that the delay was seen as a result of the competitive challenge process which would be launched next month. This means the expressway project will likely be awarded after President Aquino steps down in June 2016.

The connector road, proposed by Manuel V. Pangilinan’s Metro Pacific Investments Corp., was submitted as an unsolicited proposal under the previous administration. It has since faced delays mainly due to disagreements within the government over which implementation structure to pursue.

Franco said MPTC was not worried that the change in administration would affect the award of the deal.

The P8-billion project will provide a link between North Luzon Expressway and the South Luzon Expressway. It will begin at the C3 Road in Caloocan City and end in PUP Sta. Mesa, with an opening toll fee of P87.

“We don’t see a problem as long as the process gets completed, the BOT (build operate transfer) guidelines are clear,” Franco said.

Right now, the parties were waiting for the release of the concession agreement. After that comes the competitive or Swiss challenge.

The Swiss challenge will allow other interested parties to submit offers to undertake the connector road project. Under the Swiss Challenge rules, Metro Pacific can match the best offer and win the expressway.

Once awarded, Franco said the tollroad could move toward construction, which would be done in a “segmental” manner starting 2017.

Depending on the delivery of right of way, a perennial issue when it comes to the timing of infrastructure projects here, the connector road would be finished by the end of 2020, he said.

The tollroad, once completed, is expected to be boon to motorists in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

According to the Department of Public Works and Highways, the connector road will cut travel time from NLEx to SLEx to about 15 to 20 minutes from up to two hours. For travel between Clark in Pampanga to Calamba, Laguna, travel time will be slashed by half to one hour and 40 minutes from an average of three hours. About 35,000 vehicles per day are expected to use the tollroad.

Source: business.inquirer.net

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