MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan, Feb. 14 (PIA) -- Motorists now only wait for the formal opening of the Plaridel Bypass Road as the almost 10-kilometer artery to the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) is already complete.
Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson said that the new road network is expected to be opened this March as installation of teller machines for the toll plaza were to be finished.
“This is our long-term solution to the congested traffic in Daang Maharlika particularly in Sta. Rita exit of NLEX,” said Singson in Filipino.
Motorists going north of Bulacan like Nueva Ecija, Quirino, Isabela and Cagayan have been griping over the long queues in the Sta. Rita exit as no other convenient route is available.
According to Roberto Ocampo, resident living near the said exit and who is commuting to Manila every day, the traffic in the area is so choked-up even in normal days.
“You could not even tell what the occasion is because even if it is not a holiday, the traffic is so slow. Unlike when you’re going to Baguio, if you don’t want to use the MacArthur Highway, there is NLEX,” said Ocampo in Filipino.
Shane Velasco, a professor in Bulacan State University and frequent driver, said the quality of the Plaridel Bypass Road is “so great” that the driver would not feel the acceleration of the vehicle.
He added that it only took five minutes from the new toll plaza to Pulilan town compared to an hour and 30 minutes wasted when stuck in intense traffic in Daang Maharlika from Sta. Rita exit going to Pulilan.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) funded P680 million for the Plaridel Bypass Road which traverses the towns of Balagtas, Guiguinto, Plaridel and Pulilan.
This bypass road, phase I of a three-contract package for the construction of a 26-km road to San Rafael town, and a phase II crossing Bustos and Angat towns were all funded by JICA with P1.7 billion. (WLB/JMG/PIA3)