We live in an era where modernization occurs, in which innovative inputs were turned into revolutionary outputs. Expressways contribute convenience to the daily transport of goods, services, and people. Road networks were built across the Philippines and emerging infrastructure developments are continuously rising through the national government’s ‘Build, Build, Build Program’.
The South Luzon expressway is one of the assets in the country and hailed as a significant major road network that serves as a connector that links provinces in CALABARZON Region. Serving the nearest from the Metro to the farthest Southern Tagalog areas – SLEX consists of a network of two expressways that connects Metro Manila to the provinces of the CALABARZON Region on the island of Luzon. SLEX makes transportation easier and faster from North Luzon and Metro Manila to have access in provinces like Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, and Quezon.
Elevating the service of the South Luzon Expressway and encourage providence, the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) and SLEX concessionaire SMC SLEX Inc. formerly known as SLTC (South Luzon Tollways Corporation), a subsidiary of SMC (San Miguel Corporation) started its project to build and extend the South Luzon Expressway with a new four (4)-lane toll road from Sto Tomas, Batangas to Tayabas/Lucena City in Quezon Province. The hottest toll road project in the southern expressway is namely the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) Toll Road 4 (TR4), an expansion approximately 66.74km long.
The Major Road Network Development in Southern Tagalog Region
The Southern Luzon is known as home to some of the Philippines’ most popular destinations – lying on the southeast of the National Capital Region are provinces that are touched by mass tourism. With the acclaimed boost in the economy of the Southern Region, tourists played a big role in reaching vast economic growth. The thriving wealth of the south continues due to road network developments in the region, which allows more tourists to frequent the South.
The South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) Toll Road 4 (TR4)
This 13.10 Billion road network project is famed for its numerous groundbreakings with a total of 8 as its final before the project started last 2019. DPWH secretary, Mark Villar and SMC (San Miguel Corporation) president Ramon C. Ang, led the groundbreaking ceremony of the toll road project. Its sole purpose is to reduce travel time from Metro Manila to Batangas, Quezon, and Laguna by as much as three hours. Travelers, motorists in particular will experience one hour travel time from the usual 4-hour drive from Sto. Tomas in Batangas to Lucena in Quezon Province via Daang Maharlika Highway.
Ramon Ang, stressed that “With the support of our government, LGUs, and all stakeholders. We are committed to do our part and put all our energy and focus on getting this project done because it is vital to the growth of the Southern Tagalog Region.”
“Moving forward, San Miguel Corporation will continue to invest in modern toll roads and expressways that are at par with our neighbors in Asia. We are proud to support the government’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ program,” Ang added.
According to DPWH, the project aims to;
Improve the transfer of goods and services from the Southern provinces to Manila and vice versa. Shorten travel time, decongest, and reduce the volume of traffic plying the Pan-Philippine Highway. Enhance the economic efficiency of the existing South Luzon Expressway, allowing to meet the increasing demand of traffic volumes due to the rapid growth of population, urbanization, and economic growth of Quezon province and adjoining provinces.
The SLEX TR4 alignment is divided into six (6) packages as follows:
|Package A: Santo Tomas, Batangas to Makban, Laguna||11.32|
|Package B: Makban, Laguna to San Pablo, Laguna||12.75|
|Package C: San Pablo, Laguna to Tiaong, Quezon||7.50|
|Package D: Tiaong, Quezon to Candelaria, Quezon||15.00|
|Package E: Candelaria, Quezon to Tayabas, Quezon||10.21|
|Package F: Tayabas, Quezon to Brgy. Mayao, Lucena, Quezon||9.96|
*Proposed TR4 Extension (dpwh.gov.ph)
These alignments are converged across some of the significant major road networks in their respective cities, causing an efficient move to transport people, products/goods, and services to and from Laguna, Batangas, Quezon, and Bicol Region. An example is the Sto. Tomas interchange, as being close to Calamba Laguna – this will lessen the travel time along the 58-kilometer stretch between Sto. Tomas, Batangas, and Lucena, Quezon from 4 hours to 1 hour. With that being said, Calamba Laguna will be a prime location for commercial, industrial, and residential projects. At the end of construction by the year 2022, the project is expected to provide travelers and commuters with safer and more convenient travel on modern tollway facilities like well-lit toll plazas, fiber optics, and CCTV cameras, among others. This promising toll road project will put the economy of the province of Laguna at a high altitude and will spur high growth in the economy of neighboring provinces, according to DPWH.
“Apart from making Laguna and Quezon province more easily and directly accessible, SLEX-TR4 will boost agriculture and tourism; open up our provinces to more investments, and allow our people to have an easier time visiting their hometowns or loved ones in the province,” SMC president Ramon C. Ang explained.
Traveling experience to Laguna, Batangas, and Quezon Province will be more accessible and convenient. The TR4 will provide access as the fastest route to get to the key locations in the Southern Luzon provinces which will allow reaching major cities like Sto Tomas, Lipa, Batangas, Calamba, San Pablo, Alaminos, Makban, Laguna, and Tiaong, Quezon. These prime cities are known for their location as they serve as a bed for existing and upcoming projects such as commercial centers, business hubs, and residential projects like BRIA Homes, whose mission is to address the housing problem in the country, providing affordable, yet quality house and lots by embodying their tagline to become every Filipinos Home of Choice.
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Written by Patrick Comendador