MPTC to award Candaba viaduct project by yearend

By Arjay L. Balinbin, Senior Reporter

METRO Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) said its unit NLEX Corp. expects to award the Candaba Third Viaduct project, valued at P6-7 billion, before the end of the year.

“The contract will be awarded soon, or before the end of the year,” MPTC Chief Financial Officer Christopher Daniel C. Lizo told BusinessWorld recently.

The Candaba Viaduct is a causeway allowing motorists to traverse the section of the swamp between Pulilan, Bulacan and Apalit, Pampanga. A third viaduct will be built between the northbound and southbound portions. The viaduct is a strategic expressway link that has been serving the Metro Manila, and Central and North Luzon road corridor for several years.

“Aside from making travels safer and more convenient, the project, once completed, will translate to faster journeys as it will increase the maximum speed on the viaduct from 60 kilometers per hour (kph) to 80 kph,” NLEX Corp. said in a statement.

According to Mr. Lizo, three contractors are vying for the contract.

In a separate interview, Joselito Manzo, business development manager at Acciona, said the Spanish infrastructure company is one of the bidders for the project.

“We have a local partner, so within this month they will issue the results, and we hope we can get that project,” he told BusinessWorld.

He said it will take two years to construct the five-kilometer viaduct.

“After building the middle viaduct, they plan to demolish the southbound portion and replace it with a new one. Maybe, if we can get the first one, we can continue the other one,” Mr. Manzo added.

Acciona was also involved in the construction of the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway.

The southbound portion of the Candaba Viaduct, a vital link between Pampanga and Bulacan, has been undergoing safety repairs.

The initiative is part of a four-year rehabilitation plan to improve the bridge’s efficiency and safety.

According to NLEX Corp., it completed last year the link slab upgrade of the southbound portion.

MPTC is the tollway unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp., 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.

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