Construction of the new 5-kilometer Candaba 3rd Viaduct between Pampanga and Bulacan is now going full blast to further improve the safety and mobility of the motorists, according to the NLEX Corporation.
To signal the start of the project construction, a groundbreaking ceremony was celebrated led by House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, Senior Deputy Speaker Aurelio Gonzales, TRB Executive Director Alvin Carullo, Pampanga Governor Dennis Pineda, DPWH Region 3 Director Roseller Tolentino, Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) President Rogelio L. Singson, and NLEX Corporation President J. Luigi L. Bautista.
Targeted for completion by November 2024, this P7.89-billion structure entails the construction of a new bridge in the middle of the two existing viaducts. Once completed, this will increase road capacity of the entire Candaba Viaduct from three lanes without shoulder to three lanes with inner and outer shoulders in each direction. These lanes and shoulders will be wide hence, boosting the safety and convenience of those traversing the viaduct.
“This project will not only increase the capacity of the 5-km Candaba Viaduct but will ultimately improve safety and convenience of the motorists, as well as aid in the acceleration and growth of trade and commerce in Central Luzon,” said MPTC President and CEO Rogelio Singson.
House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez also stresses the importance of the new bridge once completed as it is seen to alleviate the traffic congestion and reduce travel time for the commuters who rely on this vital link every day.
“This project will not only enhance the efficiency of our transportation network but also contribute to the overall socioeconomic development of the region. It will create jobs, attract investments, and stimulate economic growth,” Romualdez said.
The Candaba 3rd Viaduct will be built using green and sustainable engineering practices and will be compliant with the country’s latest bridge design requirements. It will have piers at every 20 meters, with each pier being supported by two columns and two bored piles which will strengthen the structure amidst the swampy condition of the natural ground underneath the viaduct.
“This new mobility project will offer easy journeys and make travel safer for the public traveling between Metro Manila and Central and North Luzon as there will be a new structure to augment the existing ones and will safely allow the speed limit to increase to 60 to 80 kilometers per hour from the current 40 to 60 kilometers per hour,” said NLEX Corporation President and GM Luigi Bautista, adding that “upon completion, Class 3 vehicles or large trucks will be directed to the new bridge so that the old structures will be relieved of heavy loads.”
Bautista also highlighted that based on previous studies, the construction of the third viaduct is necessary as the current structures are aging and operating at a reduced capacity. At the same time, he assured the motoring public that their travel comfort will not be sacrificed as majority of the works will not affect the current operations and traffic flow in the two existing viaduct. The construction site will be manned by competent engineers and management teams to ensure efficiency and safety.
The Candaba Viaduct has been a vital link for motorists traveling between Metro Manila and the provinces in Central and North Luzon for over 50 years now. It has withstood natural disasters such as severe typhoons and extreme earthquakes.
Since 2005, the tollway company has been upgrading the viaduct. Some of the works completed were pavement resurfacing; bridge link slab, girder, and deck replacement; girder and column strengthening; and construction of lay-bys or emergency stops in both northbound and southbound directions of the bridge. In 2020, the company has also started implementing stringent anti-overloading efforts such as enforcing the 33-ton gross vehicle weight limit on the southbound viaduct to further ensure the safety and long-term serviceability of the bridge.
The NLEX Corporation is a subsidiary of the Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC), the tollways unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC).