THE construction of the Laguna segment of the Cavite Laguna Expressway (CalaEx) is in full swing and is expected to open to the public in three months, officials said last week. Meanwhile, the construction of the Cavite segment of the 45-kilometer expressway has started with the groundbreaking on March 27 of the portion of the highway that will connect the two provinces.
Officials of MPCala Holdings Inc. (MPCala), a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC), attended the groundbreaking in Imus, Cavite, of the 27-kilometer segment of the expressway.
The construction of the Laguna segment is ongoing and is expected to be finished and opened by July next year. Officials said the Cavite segment would be completed by July 2022.
“With the Laguna segment well underway and substantially completed by July of this year, we will simultaneously push for the Cavite segment to meet Laguna in a timely manner, completing the project by 2022,” public works secretary Mark Villar said during the groundbreaking ceremony last week. MPCala earlier announced that the Laguna segment would open by July.
The Cavite segment starts from Kawit, Cavite, and will traverse the Imus Open Canal, Governor’s Drive, Dasmariñas, Aguinaldo Highway, and Silang. It will connect to the Laguna segment that starts in Santa Rosa exiting to Mamplasan in Biñan town toward the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx).
“We are pleased that our project is moving as it should and jobs are being generated. As a socially responsible corporate citizen, we would like to add value to our presence, not just in terms of bringing solutions to the traffic congestion but as a source of livelihood for the provinces of Cavite and Laguna,” Roberto Bontia, MPCala president and general manager, said in a statement.
He added that the Laguna segment now in full swing would employ up to 1,200 people. Bontia expects the Cavite segment to generate “close to 1,300 sites and office personnel.”
The Laguna segment begins at the toll barrier coming from SLEx while the Cavite segment starts at the Silang Interchange. Motorists will be charged Php4.5 per kilometer once the four-lane Laguna segment opens. CalaEx will have eight interchanges.
CalaEx, which is among the first “private-public partnership” projects initiated by the previous administration of President Noynoy Aquino, is expected to cut travel time from 2.5 hours to under 45minutes and will help decongest the streets of the two provinces. It is supposed to serve approximately 50,000 motorists every day.
The estimated cost for the Cavite segment is at Php12 billion and will have state-of-the-art, world-class features to ensure safety and security for motorists. Among these features is the “Automatic License Plate Recognition System” that provides additional vehicle identification to enable barrier-less entry at the toll gates.
An improved RFID system, which will result in higher and more efficient lane throughput, will also be in place, as well as sensors that will detect overloaded vehicles. IP-based speed detection Cameras and high-definition CCTVs cover the entire expressway for traffic monitoring and incident detection.
CalaEx will connect to Cavitex and the C5-South Link which will make transfers from Laguna, Cavite, Las Piñas, Parañaque and CP Garcia Avenue seamless, officials said.
Earlier, the project proponents closed a Php24.2-billion loan agreement between MPCALA and a group of banks composed of BDO Unibank Inc., UnionBank of the Philippines, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., Land Bank of the Philippines and Security Bank Corp. MPCala was awarded a 35-year concession to build and operate CalaEx. (Laguna Now)