Vital Cavite Laguna expressway set to open in 2022

The toll road unit of infrastructure giant Metro Pacific Investments Corp. is starting work on the second phase of the Cavite Laguna Expressway (CALAEx), which it targets to finish by 2022.

On Wednesday, Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) led the groundbreaking ceremony for the Cavite section, which will cover 27 kilometers of the 45-km toll road.

Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar said the Laguna segment of CALAEx would be “substantially completed” by July this year. The Cavite segment, on the other hand, is slated for completion by April 2022.

Once opened, the expressway will cut the usual multi-hour travel time between Manila and the Southern Luzon provinces to under 45 minutes.

“We are pleased that our project is moving as it should and jobs are being generated,” Roberto Bonita, president of Metro Pacific unit MPCALA Holdings, said.

“The Laguna segment now in full swing [has employed] up to 1,200 personnel. We expect to employ additional 1,300 site and office personnel as construction progresses for the Cavite segment,” he added.

During the event, Cavite Gov. Jesus Crispin Remulla also assured the DPWH of the local government’s support in securing crucial right of way.

CALAEx, among the Public-Private Partnership projects awarded under the previous administration, will link the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) Mampalsan Exit to the Cavite Expressway in Kawit, Cavite. The project was bagged by the Metro Pacific Group in 2015 following a rebidding exercise.

Metro Pacific officials said CALAEx would be its most advanced toll road to date. Features include an Automatic License Plate Recognition System to identity vehicles and allow barrierless entry.

It will have an improved RFID system, weigh in motion sensors that can detect overloaded vehicles and IP-based speed detection cameras and HD CCTVs.

CALAEx is part of the network of toll roads of Metro Pacific Tollways, which also operates the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx), Cavite Expressway and Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway.