CLARK FREEPORT -- Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar led the opening of the new North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Tambobong Interchange in Bocaue, Bulacan.
The new interchange, the latest traffic decongestion project between Bocaue and other eastern parts of Bulacan, officially opened to the public on July 2.
A partnership between the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and NLEX Corporation, the new interchange will offer another alternative for commuters at Bocaue Interchange bound for Sta. Maria, Angat, and Pandi in eastern Bulacan.
Aside from Villar, also present during the opening were Bulacan Second District Representative Gavini Pancho, Bocaue Mayor Jose Santiago Jr., DPWH Central Luzon Director Roseller Tolentino, NLEX Corporation Senior Vice President for Communication and Stakeholder Management Romulo Quimbo Jr., and Vice President for Project Management Fernando Autor.
"The completion of this new route is vital to fulfilling our goal of improving roads leading to growth corridors. We are delighted to let our commuters know that we are able to provide traffic congestion relief and reduce travel time between the NLEX and eastern Bulacan towns," Villar said.
The new interchange features a two-lane southbound entry, a two-lane northbound entry, and a three-lane northbound exit. It also has exclusive RFID lanes to encourage cashless and faster transactions.
"With these new access roads, we are expecting to enhance mobility within the Bulacan road network and help alleviate the heavy traffic situation at the Bocaue Interchange," NLEX Corporation President and General Manager Luigi Bautista said.
Bulacan Second District Representative Gavini Pancho, who is proactively pushing for more infrastructure projects in the province, said the new interchange "would definitely open more opportunities for our people and our province."
Heightened commercial activities and real estate development in Bocaue and Sta. Maria have contributed largely to vehicle growth along that corridor.
Meanwhile, DPWH Central Luzon Director Tolentino said the new interchange is expected to reduce travel time and complement other developments in Bulacan such as the proposed airport and mega city.
In 2018, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) cited Bulacan as one of the emerging viable business destinations in Luzon considering its proximity to Metro Manila and the upcoming major infrastructure projects.
Last year, the Provincial Government also announced that a 400-hectare mega city traversing the municipalities of Pandi, Bocaue, and Balagtas will be built, which comprised of manufacturing firms, call centers, warehouses, outlet stores, and a shopping mall.
Also included in the DPWH Bulacan road network enhancements is the ongoing construction of a new bridge at the Bocaue Interchange and the Balagtas Interchange SB exit (Plaridel bypass road) to better accommodate growing traffic.
DPWH and NLEX Corporation opened the Philippine Arena Interchange and Balagtas Northbound Entry last year to make travel easier and more comfortable for motorists. The tollway company likewise completed in 2019 the girder strengthening, and deck slab replacement of the Bocaue River Bridge aimed at further ensuring the safety and convenience of the public.