NLEX to build 3rd span over Candaba swamp

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  • The operator of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) plans to build a third highway alongside the two 5.3-kilometer viaducts crossing the Candaba swampland in Bulacan and Pampanga, a legislator from Central Luzon said.
    NLEX officials revealed their plans on Tuesday during a consultative meeting organized by Deputy Speaker and Pampanga 3rd District Rep. Aurelio Gonzales Jr., who has called for the construction of new long bridges that would replace the 46-year-old viaducts due to safety concerns.
    Gonzales said he was elated to hear of the operator’s intention to build a third viaduct or diversion bridge that would complement the two existing bridges, which are being repaired and retrofitted.
    “The new road and the improvement of the present expressway will ensure the continued interconnectivity of Metro Manila and areas south of Luzon, on one hand, and central and northern Luzon, on the other,” he said.
    He said aside from thousands of motorists and commuters, billions of pesos worth of goods are transported between the National Capital Region and central and Northern Luzon through NLEX, of which the long elevated bridges across the 30-meter deep Candaba swamps are a major part.
    “So safety issues arising from the two viaducts’ age and their constant use and heavy load are a real concern. I am glad that the expressway operator is addressing these,” he added.
    The Pampanga lawmaker, a civil engineer by profession, pointed out that he had foreseen such issues in 2016, when he told the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry that a new viaduct needed to be constructed. (M. Cruz, MS)

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