THE Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) recently approved a toll rate adjustment of P4.00 following the completion and opening in June of the P7 billion North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Harbor Link.
The NLEX Harbor Link is a 2.6-kilometer elevated section between the new Caloocan Interchange at C3 Road/5th Avenue and the new Navotas Interchange along R-10/Mel Lopez Boulevard.
While the regulatory approvals could have been implemented earlier this year, the increase has been deferred in consideration of the adverse economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
The increase which takes effect past midnight or 12:01 am on November 25, 2020, will amount to P4.00 in the open system and P0.06 per kilometer in the closed system.
The open system, where a flat rate is charged per entry, includes Quezon City, Caloocan City, Valenzuela City, Malabon City, Navotas City, Meycauayan City and Marilao, Bulacan.
Under the new toll fee matrix, motorists traveling anywhere within the open system will pay an additional P4.00 for Class 1 vehicles (regular cars and SUVs), Class 2 vehicles (buses and small trucks) will pay an additional P10.00, and Class 3 vehicles will pay an additional P11.00.
For end-to-end travel, vehicles traveling from Metro Manila to Mabalacat City in Pampanga will be charged an additional toll of P9.00, P20.00, and P25.00 per class.
The latest NLEX Harbor Link elevated section features the new Caloocan Interchange with on and off ramps along Grace Park, the new Malabon Exit with off ramp on Dagat-Dagatan Avenue, and the new Navotas Interchange, thereby expanding the NLEX network in the CAMANAVA area.
Despite challenging lockdown conditions in place since March this year, construction resumed immediately as soon as IATF clearance was obtained thereby keeping the commitments under the government’s Build Build Build Program.
The resumption of construction also helped retain thousands of jobs in the construction workforce and the supply chain.
Since its opening to commuter traffic last June 15, the new elevated expressway has helped mitigate worsening traffic conditions and has offered an alternative route for commuters and truckers, currently affected by traffic choke points along EDSA, A. Bonifacio and Rizal Avenue in Manila.
Container cargo trucks, especially those carrying essential goods such as medical equipment and supplies, now enjoy 24/7 access and unhampered deliveries from the Ports of Manila as there is no truck ban along NLEX.
An average of 30,100 vehicles per day, mostly from the logistics industry, currently use the new route and enjoy the improved commuting time provided by the NLEX Harbor Link.
Traffic reports also showed that around 7,200 vehicles were diverted to the NLEX Harbor Link from the traditional Manila-bound EDSA Balintawak Cloverleaf, which in turn eased congestion in A. Bonifacio and other clogged streets in Quezon City and Manila.
The new section has also reduced commuting time along Metro Manila’s east to west corridor between the Mindanao Avenue Toll Plaza and the Port Area in Manila to just 20 minutes.
Over the years, NLEX Corporation has lived up to its commitment of improving its expressway network and providing quality infrastructure projects that contribute to economic development.
Aside from the NLEX Harbor Link, among the projects recently completed in partnership with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) include the Balagtas Northbound Entry and Tambobong Interchange that have contributed to traffic decongestion and improved customer experience.
The tollway company also finished the rehabilitation of Bocaue River Bridge; pavement repairs, and upgrading of roadway lights in parts of the expressways; and drainage enhancements in Valenzuela City and in Balagtas, Bocaue, Meycauayan, and Pulilan – all of which are aimed at improving motorists’ safety and convenience. It is also currently undertaking major upgrading works for the five-kilometer Candaba Viaduct.
Despite the traffic dropping to about 80-90 percent due to the lockdowns, NLEX remains at the forefront of service to motorists, frontliners, and communities as well as a significant enabler for faster delivery of basic commodities.
As the country slowly recovers from the impact of COVID-19, NLEX is heeding the call of the government to become part of the economic stimulus program by building infrastructure with a substantial impact on job creation for people and stimulating economic growth. (PR)