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Central Luzon Link Expressway Becomes First Toll-Free Expressway in the PH

The Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEX) is the country’s first toll-free expressway, says Mark Villar, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPHW) secretary, after an inspection conducted on July 14th. 

The first 18-kilometer section of the project was inaugurated on July 15th and connects the provinces of Tarlac and Nueva Ecija. It spans the length of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) and the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) connection in Tarlac City, terminating at the intersection of the Aliaga-Guimba Road in Aliaga, Nueva Ecija.

Unlike other private-public partnership (PPP) projects that are funded through a partnership between the private sector and the government, CLLEX is entirely funded by the General Appropriations Act (GAA), according to a report by Manila Bulletin. Under these conditions, motorists don’t need to be charged for use of the expressway.

Construction of the Cabanatuan segment of the bridge is ongoing. Once completed, the bridge will extend from Cabanatuan City to San Jose, Nueva Ecija with a total length of 65.70 kilometers.

Decongesting Metro Manila and Central Luzon

Villar also stated that CLLEX is part of the government’s efforts to ensure continuous, seamless traffic for both Metro Manila and Central Luzon. It’s one of the main infrastructure projects that received funding assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency under the current administration’s Build Build Build (BBB) program

CLLEX serves as a convenient alternative route for motorists headed to Nueva Ecija, especially those traversing the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), and Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX).

As a primary link between the east and west expressway network of Central Luzon, the P11.811 billion project is predicted to cut the travel time between Tarlac City and Cabanatuan City to 20 minutes from the usual 70 minutes. 

The remaining sections set to open in the near future include the 6.40-kilometer Rio Chico River Bridge Section, 1.5-kilometer Rio Chico Viaduct, 4.10-kilometer Tarlac Section, and the Aliaga portion of the bridge with up and down ramps at the Guimba-Aliaga Road. 

There are several other infrastructure projects that have already been completed or are currently underway in the Central Luzon region that serve to ease traffic and improve mobility. 

Among these developments are the bike-friendly P509-million Pulilan-Baliuag Diversion Road project that opened last March, the 84.68-kilometer Capas-Botolan Road that links Capas, Tarlac and Botolan, Zambales, and the P2.34 billion 39.96-kilometer San Jose-Palauig Road that links San Jose, Tarlac and Palauig, Zambales. 

Property seekers looking towards fringe cities

Infrastructure projects such as CLLEX are fostering the growing interest of property seekers and developers for real estate in Central Luzon and the Calabarzon region, as detailed in Lamudi’s forecast on residential and commercial sectors in 2021. Besides road networks, there are also plans to construct airports, railway systems, and seaports.

The completion of these projects will result in new employment opportunities, efficient exchange of goods, and improved mobility. They’re also expected to drive demand for properties in these locations, giving rise to increased property values and investor confidence. 

This emerging interest in provincial cities as top sites for real estate investment peaked during the pandemic, with the market shifting towards warehousing and logistics opportunities in less-congested areas with easy access to the capital region. 

Properties in these locations have also been generating interest because they’re typically cheaper per square meter and present a higher return on investment compared to properties situated in central business districts in the metro. 

The forecast also predicts a surge in supply for various residential and commercial properties, particularly mixed-use estates, as a response to the needs of modern property seekers in the new normal. 

Data gathered from Lamudi’s Online Housing Fair this year are already reflecting these trends, with the top five projects in terms of leads being horizontal developments from Central Luzon and the Calabarzon region. 

Interest in these locations will likely be sustained as more infrastructure projects are either set in motion or completed in the years to come. 

Article and Photo originally posted by Lamudi last July 21, 2021.

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