President Rodrigo Duterte inaugurated the first 18-kilometer section of the Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEX), a toll-free road that connects Tarlac and Nueva Ecija. It is now officially open for motorists traveling from the Subic–Clark–Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX)/ Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) connection in Tarlac city, to the Aliaga-Guimba Road intersection in Nueva Ecija.
A top-down shot of a portion of the newly opened CLLEX section [Photo source: Ken Jover]
During the aforementioned inauguration event, also present were the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar, Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhiko Koshikawa, Senator Christopher Lawrence Go, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Philippines Chief Representative Eigo Azukizawa, and many other public officials.
Of note, this 18-kilometer stretch is the first of many for CLLEX. In fact, the said four-lane, toll-free expressway will consist of 30 kilometers in total. Once finished, the CLLEX will provide a faster 20-minute travel time to and from Tarlac City and Cabanatuan City. That’s a whole lot faster than the 70-minute travel time that motorists currently need to deal with for the said route. The DPWH is also looking to extend the CLLEX up to San Jose, Nueva Ecija that will pass through the municipalities of Talavera and Llanera.
DPWH Secretary Mark Villar together with DWPH Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain, Project Director Benjamin A. Bautista and other DPWH staff
Apart from being more convenient, the CLLEX is also expected to help drive the further development of the provinces the said expressway is running through. Specifically, it will aid farmers from Nueva Ecija to deliver their products to the markets located in Metro Manila and Central Luzon. In addition, the CLLEX itself is a pretty scenic route that offers views of the lush green plains of Central Luzon.
It is important to also note that while the CLLEX is a part of the Build Build Build Program, it is funded with the help of the Government of Japan through JICA. In total, the project will cost around Php 11 billion, and it is scheduled to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year. Its initial target date was December 2020, but then that schedule was hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
For more car news and car reviews, keep it here on Philkotse.com.
Cesar G.B. Miguel