The opening of the latest section of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) called the Segment 10 is almost upon us.
Segment 10 is 5.65 kilometer, 6-lane (3 lanes either direction) divided and elevated toll expressway that will connect Caloocan (via C3) directly to the NLEX, with another 2.6 kilometers under construction to connect Manila (via R10).
The elevated expressway, built largely over the existing PNR railway tracks, is designed to have a capacity of 30,000 vehicles daily and is rated to sustain the weights of semi-trailer trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles. Segment 10 is also built to the latest standards with solid reinforced concrete guard rails and earthquake safety.
While it may seem like a simple project that will benefit only residents and businesses within the two cities, the impact of NLEX Segment 10 can be far more beneficial the metropolis in general. Let's take a look at five reasons why.
1. Improve transit in and out of Caloocan
The most immediate benefit of the soon-to-be-opened NLEX Segment 10 is that it allows direct and quick access to and from Caloocan and the surrounding areas. So, if you live in Caloocan and have to get to Quezon City, you can do so via Segment 10, 9 and 8 to Mindanao Avenue.
The Department of Public Works and Highways actually says Segment 10 can cut down a trip that normally takes an hour in Caloocan traffic to about 5 minutes. That's 55 minutes in time and cost savings. If you have to drive both ways, that's almost two hours you can save in a day.
2. Will later connect to R10, linking to Roxas Boulevard
Do you have an appointment at the U.S. Embassy (or any of the other diplomatic addresses) on Roxas Boulevard? Travel time will be so much more convenient in the near future thanks to NLEX Segment 10, which will eventually have a terminus at R10 in the Port Area.
When the R10 interchange opens in the near future, it will connect directly to the Manila Bay area. R10, also known as Radial Road 10, is actually somewhat of an extension of Roxas Boulevard; if you're driving northbound on the latter, once you cross the Pasig River, that's R10.
One such benefit was relayed to us by the Chair for the Build Build Build Commitee, Ms. Anna Mae Yu Lamentillo, who holds office at the DPWH in the Port Area, but has to travel to U.P. Diliman in Quezon City to take evening classes for her law degree. A project such as this can drastically cut travel time between her office and the university, and vice versa.
3. Easier access for trucks to and from Manila ports
But beyond the benefits of being able to get to embassies, Intramuros, Luneta Park and many other important destinations in the City Of Manila, NLEX Segment 10 will be of great benefit to big trucks coming in and out of the Port Area.
The project will undoubtedly yield huge benefits for logistics as goods can more easily flow in and out of the country's largest shipping port by tonnage, providing a much-needed boost for imports and exports and, subsequently, the economy. More importantly, the NLEX is not covered by a truck ban—again enhancing the ability of companies to benefit as trucks can be sent out without having to wait out a truck ban.
4. Decongest surrounding areas of vehicles, especially trucks
By providing a faster alternate route for truckers in and out of the Port of Manila and the many industries in the cities of Caloocan, Valenzuela, Manila and more, the traffic in said areas is expected to improve dramatically.
Roads and locales that make up the Northern Truck Route for the Port Area will benefit the most such as Capulong, Tayuman, Gov. Forbes, Aragon, Aurora, Maria Clara, Dimasalang, Blumentritt, and A.Bonifacio. Freeing up these tight and congested roads will undoubtedly be welcomed by residents, and is expected to have a spillover effect and decongest other major roads in the metropolis like EDSA and C-5.
5. Will eventually link up to Skyway Stage 3 via NLEX-SLEX Connector
The master plan for the government's Build Build Build program indicates another road will be constructed called the NLEX-SLEX Connector Road project. It will pick up from the NLEX Segment 10 exit at C3 Road in Caloocan, and link directly to the South Luzon Expressway via a new interchange being constructed near Quirino Avenue.
Once completed in a few years' time, Segment 10 and the NLEX-SLEX Connector will enable trucks to go onto the SLEX, opening up industries of the south to the Port Area and to the north as well. This project will decongest roads such as C-5 which has proved to be the vital link between the NLEX and the SLEX.
This project will also enable motorists to drive directly onto the Metro Manila Skyway to the Manila International Airport, cutting travel time to the metro's four primary air terminals.