The construction of the Cavite segment of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CaLaEx) is set to begin in the third quarter of this year after the project secured an environmental compliance certificate (ECC).
Public Works Secretary Mark Villar announced the development during an ocular inspection of the Laguna segment of the CaLaEx on Saturday.
"Na-issue na 'yung ECC so pwede na magsimula," Villar told reporters.
An ECC is a document issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources certifying that a proposed project will not cause a significant negative impact on the environment.
When asked when the construction of the project's Cavite segment will start, the Cabinet official said, "I think, in Q3."
The Cavite segment will cover 27 kilometers of the 45-kilometer CaLaEx, while the Laguna portion will span 18 kilometers.
"We have already started the acquisition of right-of-way as early as this year... We've identified the areas and madali na 'yon and we will be able to start the civil works this year," Villar said.
For the construction of the Cavite segment, MPCALA Holdings Inc. — a unit of Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Tollways South Corp. — tapped Leighton Contractors.
The Laguna segment, meanwhile, is 40 percent completed and 80 percent of rights of way are already being processed, according to Villar.
"Sa Laguna section maganda naman ang progress ng construction so tina-target pa rin namin na by Christmas matapos 'yung Laguna portion," he said.
"It's doable, pero siyempre may challenges like 'yung weather. May konting challenges pa rin pero so far nare-resolve naman 'yung mga problema," he said, citing the progress in the construction observed during the inspection such as the installation of foundations of the elevated portion of the project.
For the construction of the Laguna segment, MPCALA has tapped DM Consunji Inc.
The P35.682-billion CaLaEx project was awarded to MPCALA in 2015, under the public-private-partnership program. It has a concession period of 35 years, including 5 years of design and construction.
The four-lane, 45-kilometer tollway will connect the Manila-Cavite Toll Expressway (Cavitex) and South Luzon Expressway (SLEX).
The project will start from Cavitex in Kawit, Cavite and end at the SLEX-Mamplasan interchange in Biñan, Laguna. It will have eight interchanges located in Kawit, Open Canal, Governor’s Drive, Aguinaldo Highway, Silang East, Sta.Rosa-Tagaytay Road, Laguna Blvd. and Technopark.
The CaLaEx is targeted to be completed in 2020.
"Nakatutok naman kami and we expect na mapa-fast track ang construction ng CALAX," Villar said. — MDM, GMA News