NLEX Candaba viaduct fully open to traffic for Holy Week

NLEX Candaba viaduct fully open to traffic for Holy Week

MANILA — The operator of North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) has assured the House of Representatives that the highway’s 6.8-kilometer Candaba viaduct will be fully open to traffic in time for Holy Week on April 3-9.

NLEX Corp. officials made the assurance during an inter-agency consultative meeting presided over by Deputy Speaker and Pampanga 3rd District Rep. Aurelio Gonzales Jr. at the House on Monday afternoon.

“We will finish retrofitting the southbound lane of the viaduct next month. All lanes of NLEX will be open for Holy Week,” NLEX Corp. vice president Jennifer Jane Go told the meeting.

“That’s good news to my constituents and my kabalen in Pampanga, and to thousands of motorists who traditionally go to tourism and vacation sites in northern Luzon throughout the Lenten period, and to those from the north who will drive to Metro Manila and southern Luzon,” Gonzales said.

As was the case in the past, he said NLEX would be congested with vehicles due to the Holy Week exodus even with all lanes passable.

For months now, the expressway operator concessionaire has been retrofitting the Candaba viaduct. To give way to the repairs, one southbound lane is closed, while one lane on the northbound side serves as a counterflow lane for southbound vehicles.

During the meeting, NLEX Corp. officials led by senior vice president Romulo Quimbo said the construction of the third Candaba viaduct would begin in May and would be completed by December next year.

He said the third bridge would be built in between the two current long southbound and northbound spans.

He said NLEX Corp. has already awarded the contract for the additional bridge to international contractor Leighton Asia.

Gonzales, who is an engineer, said a new viaduct or a new highway “is really needed because the present infrastructure has deteriorated due to age, constant use, and heavy load.”

He said the expressway was built during the first Marcos administration.

He said he has informed President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. of the expressway’s operator’s decision to build a third bridge and “he was elated to hear about it.”

(Amado Inigo/MTVN)

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