Construction of CLLEx in Central Luzon resume

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THE long-delayed construction of the Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEx), which will interconnect strategic areas in Central Luzon, is expected to resume in the second quarter of this year following the resolution of problems besetting the government road project.

Zambales Governor Hermogenes Ebdane Jr., who chairs both the Regional Development Council’s Sectoral Committee on Infrastructure Development and the Regional Peace and Order Council in Central Luzon, said the project regained headway after a dialogue last March 19 between project officials and landowners affected by the project.

The project, which previously bogged down due to delayed payment of right-of-way claims for properties along the 35.7-kilometer route, is designed to connect with the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) south of the region and the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEx) in the north and provide an important east-west link.

Upon completion, the P11.8-billion expressway will shorten travel time between Tarlac City and Cabanatuan City from 70 minutes to 20 minutes, said Ebdane.

“The project already has the green light now, as the affected landowners have already dismantled the barricades they have set up along the highway. So, we expect construction to resume in the second quarter,” Ebdane said.

“We met with the concerned landowners and farmers, and we managed to solve the problem out of the box,” added the governor, who once served as Secretary of Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

The Zambales official facilitated the dialogue which also involved officials of the DPWH Unified Project Management Office-Road Management Cluster 1 and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), as well as Mayor Cristino M. Joson of Quezon, Nueva Ecija.

Construction of the CLLEx initially started in May 2016 and consisted of five contract packages, three of which have already been completed.

Ebdane said the four-lane expressway will provide a free-flowing alternative route that will decongest traffic along the Pan Philippine Highway (PPH) between Tarlac City and San Jose City in Nueva Ecija.

“This will also form an important east-west road link in Region 3, and provide safe, fast and reliable connection to Metro Manila and other critical development areas in Central Luzon,” he added.

CLLEX is part of the Luzon Spine Expressway Network which is planned to extend from the northernmost part of Luzon, Ilocos, to the southernmost part, Bicol.

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