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New CALAX segment expected to service 5,000 cars daily upon completion by third quarter

THE 7.2-kilometer segment of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX), which runs between the Santa Rosa-Tagaytay Road Interchange and the Silang East Interchange, may open by the third quarter of the year, MPCALA Holdings, Inc. said Thursday.

MPCALA President and General Manager Roberto V. Bontia announced at an online briefing Thursday that the new subsection, known as Subsection 5, is targeted for completion by the third quarter.

Subsection 5 is currently 83% complete and is part of the 45-kilometer CALAX expressway running from Kawit, Cavite to Mamplasan Interchange in Biñan, Laguna.

“As soon as the right of way is handed over to us, we will double our construction efforts to avoid any unnecessary delay,” Mr. Bontia said.

Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark A. Villar and MPCALA Holdings executives inspected Subsection 5 Thursday.

“As travel restrictions are slowly but surely being lifted, this new subsection of CALAX will help accelerate economic progress in Laguna and Cavite by providing interconnection between the two provinces of Region 4-A,” Mr. Villar noted.

“This segment is crucial since it is expected to serve almost 5,000 cars per day, and will ease traffic along Governor’s Drive, Aguinaldo Highway, and Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Road once opened,” he added.

Mr. Villar also said that the acquisition of right of way has been a challenge for the company and the Department of Public Works and Highways.

“We are giving our full effort to deliver and eventually open with as little deviation to the original timeline as possible.”

The first segments of CALAX that are currently operational run from Mamplasan to Santa Rosa in Laguna.

The operational segments are servicing about 10,000 vehicles daily, according to Mr. Villar.

“We target to finish the whole… stretch of CALAX and serve 50,000 cars before 2022 ends,” he said.

The project has eight subsections: Kawit to Open Canal (subsection 1), Open Canal to Governor’s Drive (subsection 2), Governor’s Drive to Silang (subsection 3), Silang to Silang East (subsection 4), Silang East to Santa Rosa (subsection 5), and Santa Rosa to Mamplasan (subsections 6, 7, & 8).

Once fully operational, the P35.43-billion project is expected to cut travel time between the Manila-Cavite Expressway and South Luzon Expressway to 45 minutes from the current 2.5 hours.

MPCALA Holdings is a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., the tollways unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp., which is 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

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