By Lawrence Agcaoili
MANILA, Philippines – The completion of the construction of the P2.01 billion Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway (MCX) has been moved anew by a month to July due to the problems in the delivery of the right-of-way by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
DPWH Undersecretary Rafael Yabut said in an interview that the opening of the first Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project awarded by the Aquino administration would finally push through in July.
Yabut said Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras has intervened to complete the right-of-way acquisition for the PPP toll road project.
Earlier, AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp. president and chief executive officer John Eric Francia said the completion of the project was moved to June instead of this March this year due to on-site challenges.
Francia attributed the delay in construction completion to on-site challenges resulting from the redesign of certain portions of access tunnels leading to the South Luzon expressway (SLEx).
Likewise, the unavailability of as-built plans for an existing bridge also contributed to the delay as excavation work for the tunnel had to proceed as a much slower pace.
“This is to avoid possible damage to the existing structure and ensure public safety as the bridge is heavily used by the public,” the company said.
The Daang Hari-SLEx link, now known as the Muntinlupa – Cavite expressway (MCX), was the first PPP project auctioned off and awarded under the flagship infrastructure program of the Aquino administration.
Ayala Corp. through AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp., bagged the toll road project.
It involves the construction of a new four-kilometer four-lane toll road, from the junction of Daang Reyna and Daang Hari in Las Piñas and Bacoor, Cavite to SLEx through the Susana Heights Interchange in Muntinlupa, traversing the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) Reservation.
The proposed link-road would use the Susana Heights Interchange as exit and entry from north and south of SLEx and would include the construction of a new bridge or widening of the existing bridge crossing SLEx as well as the expansion of the Susana Heights toll plaza.