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CALAX Laguna portion to open Oct. 30 in time for ‘Undas’

by Saul Pa-a 
October 26, 2019

CALAX INITIALLY OPENS OCT. 30. Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark A. Villar (left) embarks on a final inspection of the first 10 kilometers traversing the Laguna portion of the 45-kilometer Cavite-Laguna Expressway with a whistle-stop and on-site briefing near the Mamplasan Interchange in Biñan City, Laguna on Tuesday (Oct. 22, 2019). Joining Villar is MP CALA Holdings Inc. Vice President for Tollways Design and Engineering Arturo H. Monge (center) and DPWH Director Alex Bote. (PNA photo by Saul E. Pa-a)


STA. ROSA CITY, Laguna -- Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark A. Villar on Tuesday announced the opening of the first 10-km Laguna portion of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) by October 30.

“We will ensure that CALAX will be passable and ready to serve motorists this Oct. 30, in time for Undas (All Saint's Day). We will open the entry and exit points at Mamplasan, Biñan Laguna and Sta. Rosa- Tagaytay Road,” he said during the roadside press conference following the drive-through and windshield inspections.

Villar, along with his team and officials of the Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) subsidiary MP CALA Holdings, Inc., embarked on their final inspection of the CALAX first sections from the Mamplasan Barrier, Laguna Technopark Interchange, Laguna Boulevard Interchange to the Santa Rosa-Tagaytay Interchanges.

He said there will be no toll fee yet “although eventually, this would be PHP4 to PHP5 per kilometer.”

“It’s a long weekend and apart from paying respects to the dearly departed, I’m sure a lot of families would want to take advantage of this time to do some bonding in the Sta. Rosa commercial district, Tagaytay City, Nasugbu and other areas in Batangas,” he added.

Villar also said the motorists’ assistance center will be jointly established by the DPWH with the CALAX project contractor and other private sector partners.

He assessed that the CALAX project is 90 percent completed and vowed to fast-track the remaining 10 percent that need to be harmonized in the civil works like the road shoulders, drainage, and other finishing touches.

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“We expect around 10,000 cars to pass through these two access points. It will take some 10-minute drive for motorists and commuters traversing along this section, a sizeable travel time reduction from the 45-minute drive from Mamplasan to Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Road,” he said.

According to the DPWH chief, the Laguna portion expects to decongest the Sta. Rosa City-Tagaytay Road, Governor’s drive, Aguinaldo Highway up to Cavitex, expecting the total 45-kilometer alignment of the CALAX project to be completed by June 2022, although starting next year, some Cavite segments would be open.

Once completed, travel time for the entire 45-kilometer stretch from Mamplasan Interchange interconnection with the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) to Kawit, Cavite would only take 45 minutes to an hour drive, expecting some 50,000 vehicles to traverse CALAX daily.

He also said that with the opening of the CALAX Laguna portion, DPWH is closely coordinating with the Department of the Interior of Local Government to make sure the roads are cleared from illegal structures especially by unscrupulous persons who might put up roadsides stores to sell food and other “pasalubong” (souvenir) items.

“Kung may mga obstructions, kailangan nating i-report agad (If there are obstructions, we have to report these immediately),” he urged.

Meanwhile, Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) subsidiary MP CALA Holdings, Inc. President and General Manager Bobby Bontia assured their close coordination with the DPWH, “together we align with the different stakeholders and update them of the developments in the construction.”

“We have informed them of the features of the expressway and the benefits that CALAX will bring to the areas it will traverse. We jointly agreed to open and serve motorists who will travel this Undas,” Bontia said.

He said CALAX is designed with technologically advanced features such as Automatic License Plate Recognition System enabling barrier-less entry to CALAX, IP Based Speed Detection Cameras strategically installed, and High Definition CCTV cameras to cover the entire stretch of the expressway to ensure safe and efficient travel.

It is a four-lane, tolled expressway connecting CAVITEX in Kawit to SLEX at the Mamplasan Interchange in Biñan City, Laguna with interchanges in eight locations, namely Kawit, Imus Open Canal, Governor’s Drive, Aguinaldo Highway, Silang, Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay, Laguna Blvd., Technopark, and a Toll Barrier before SLEX. (PNA)

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