SMC, PNCC mull over P700-B Quezon-Samar road, bridge deal

Conglomerate San Miguel Corp. and the Philippine National Construction Corp. (PNCC) are studying a massive P700-billion toll road project and bridge stretching from Quezon province to Northern Samar.

The project, which still requires a feasibility study and may take eight to 10 years to build, will provide a road link between Luzon and Visayas and cut travel time between Metro Manila and Bicol from 10 to 12 hours to just four hours, PNCC president and CEO Mario Espinosa told reporters late Wednesday.

Espinosa said the toll road would stretch more than 388 kilometers and would also link the provinces of Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay and then Sorsogon.

Matnog and Allen are currently connected via ferry service. And the service is drastically affected by seasonal typhoons passing by the region. With the planned radial connection, it will lessen the impact on the transportation between the islands of Luzon and Samar/Leyte. Image via Google Map.

Moreover, SMC and PNCC plan to build a bridge that will link MatnogSorsogon, to Allen in Northern Samar.

Espinosa said the starting point of the toll road was Lucena in Quezon. This area will be connected to Metro Manila once SMC completes its 57-km TR4 extension of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx).

SMC said in its annual report that the TR4 project, which starts from Sto. Tomas, Batangas, would begin construction this year.

“We’re still studying this; we will need to do a feasibility study,” Espinosa noted.

He spoke to reporters on the sidelines of an agreement signing with SMC, outlining mainly the Metro Manila-based toll road expansion projects of the conglomerate, which operates SLEx, the Metro Manila Skyway, the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road, and the NAIA Expressway.

North of Metro Manila, SMC operates the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway, or TPLEx.

The agreement between SMC and PNCC involved projects worth about P554 billion. Espinosa clarified the Quezon to Samar toll road and bridge was not part of that estimated budget.

SMC president Ramon S. Ang told reporters late Wednesday that building a new toll road south of Metro Manila would help spur development, similar to what occurred in the north, with the opening of the TPLEx.

Ang said new projects would mainly be financed by SMC, which is continuing its diversification from food and drinks into transport infrastructure and power.

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