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CLLEx right-of-way row resolved; project to resume Q2 — Zambales guv

IBA, Zambales — The Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEx), which has faced long delays due to right-of-way claims, got a new lease in life after a dialogue between project officials and landowners affected by the project resolved problems besetting the government project.

Zambales Governor Hermogenes Ebdane Jr., who chairs both the Regional Development Council’s Sectoral Committee on Infrastructure Development and the Regional Peace and Order Council in Central Luzon, said construction of the CLLEx will resume in the second quarter after the resolution of right-of-way problems.

“The project already has the green light now,” Ebdane said on Saturday.

“We met with the concerned landowners and farmers, and we managed to solve the problem out of the box,” he added.

The Zambales official, who once served as secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), facilitated the dialogue along with officials of the DPWH Unified Project Management Office-Road Management Cluster 1 and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), as well as Mayor Cristino M. Joson of Quezon, Nueva Ecija.

Ebdane said the affected landowners already dismantled the barricades they have set up along the 35.7-kilometer route following the meeting on March 19.

“So, we expect construction to resume in the second quarter,” he said.

The project, which started in May 2016, is designed to provide an important east-west link connecting with the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) south of the region and the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEx) in the north.

Upon completion, the P11.8-billion expressway will shorten travel time between Tarlac City and Cabanatuan City from 70 minutes to 20 minutes, said Ebdane.

The CLLEX is part of the Luzon Spine Expressway Network which is planned to extend from the northernmost part of Luzon, Ilocos, to the southernmost part, Bicol. It consists of five contract packages, three of which have already been completed.

Ebdane said the four-lane expressway will provide a free-flowing alternative route that will decongest traffic along the Pan Philippine Highway (PPH) between Tarlac City and San Jose City in Nueva Ecija. 

“This will also form