The four (4)-lane 30 kilometer expressway project of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) connecting Tarlac City, Tarlac to Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija is now 94 percent completed.
Secretary Mark A. Villar said that the first 18 kilometer section of the ₱11.811 Billion Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEX) Project funded by loan agreement with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will soon be accessible to motoring public.
From the connection of SCTEX and TPLEX in Balingcanaway, Tarlac City, the contract packages covering Tarlac Section and Rio Chico River Bridge Section with a total length of 10.5 kilometers were fully completed while construction of 9.2 kilometers Aliaga Section of the expressway is 87 percent finished.
DPWH Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations Emil K. Sadain, UPMO-Roads Management Cluster 1 OIC-Project Director Benjamin Bautista, and technical staff of Secretary Villar led by Engr. Rodel Racadio inspected on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 the expressway project which will shorten the usual travel time of 70 minutes between Tarlac City and Cabanatuan City to just 20 minutes.
CLLEX up to the intersection of Aliaga-Guimba Road in Aliaga, Nueva Ecija is supposedly finished and partially opened second quarter of 2021 but was hampered by encountering work restrictions.
In his report to Secretary Villar, Undersecretary Sadain said that despite best efforts by the project contractors, partial opening of CLLEX has to moved from May to July after work suspension were issued for the on-going contract packages in compliance to the construction safety guidelines to mitigate and suppress transmission of COVID-19 infection.
For about 40 days from April 7 to May 16, civil work activities were stalled at Contract Package 3 – Aliaga Section and Contract Package 5 – Zaragoza Interchange Section as the pandemic has hit several labor force in the project and workers have to met the requirement by Aliaga Municipal Health Center Management for health clearance based on test, added Undersecretary Sadain.
With load restriction on local roads, embankment materials and aggregates also have to reached the site using the 45 kilometer Tarlac-Quezon and 36 kilometer Cabanatuan-Quezon access routes for hauling in order not to delay the delivery of critical resources.
Meanwhile, the 10.3 kilometers Contract Package 4 – Cabanatuan Section is 88 percent completed with works currently progressing in areas with newly acquired writ of possession issued by branches of Regional Trial Court as renegotiations and legal expropriations with other involved property owners are being done to fully acquire needed road right of way.
Contract Package 5 is at 26 percent which involves construction of 113 meters Zaragoza Interchange Bridge, 4.88 kilometers access road, two (2) pre-stressed concrete deck girder bridge with a total length of 19.4 meters, five (5) reinforced concrete box culverts for equalizer and farm passage, and seven (7) irrigation canals.
This CLLEX Project when completed will facilitate fast, safe, comfortable and reliable means of transport in Central Luzon as it form an important east-west link for the expressway network of Region 3 to ensure a continuous seamless traffic flow for the motoring public from Metro Manila and vice versa passing thru NLEX, SCTEX/TPLEX.