PUBLIC WORKS and Highways Secretary Mark A. Villar said Sunday that the Laguna Boulevard Interchange and the Laguna Technohub Interchange of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) will be opened to motorists starting Aug. 18.
“I am very happy that this ‘Build, Build, Build’ project has progressed despite the challenges brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. The community quarantine affected the mobilization of construction, the manpower that oversees the coordination to secure the service roads and the overall timeline of the project. We have carefully navigated through this situation and we are ready to open these interchanges to the public at 12:01 a.m. on Aug. 18, 2020,” Mr. Villar said in a statement.
“It is really a delicate balance as we aim to reach more milestones of this project, while keeping our people, the community and the construction sites safe,” he added.
Mr. Villar and officials of MPCALA Holdings, Inc., a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), conducted an inspection of the CALAX Laguna segment interchanges Sunday.
“With these interchanges operational, motorists can enjoy access to and from the Laguna Technopark and have an alternative route to and from Nuvali via Laguna Boulevard and South Boulevard, thus decongesting Santa Rosa-Tagaytay Road and other local service roads in the area,” MPCALA Holdings said.
MPCALA Holdings President Roberto V. Bontia said the interchanges will open in full electronic mode as a measure against the spread of the coronavirus.
“Operating the interchanges using 100% RFID (radio frequency identification) will eliminate cross contamination of the virus, which may spread through bills and coins used in cash payments. By November the whole of CALAX will be on RFID technology,” he added.
The 45.3-kilometer CALAX project aims to connect the Manila-Cavite Expressway (CAVITEx) from Kawit, Cavite, to the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) at the Mamplasan Interchange in Biñan, Laguna.
“The whole stretch of CALAX has nine interchanges in the following locations: Kawit, Governor’s Drive, Aguinaldo Highway, Silang, Santa Rosa-Tagaytay, Laguna Boulevard, Laguna Technopark, and a Toll Barrier before SLEx,” MPCALA Holdings said.
Once fully operational, the P35.43-billion project is expected to cut travel time between CAVITEx and SLEx to 45 minutes from the current 2.5 hours.
MPTC is the tollways unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp., one of three key Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT, Inc.
Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Arjay L. Balinbin