The Philippines’ Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has announced plans to partially open Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEX) Phase 1, which leads to Cabanatuan City, by the end of this year.

DPWH Secretary Mark A Villar explained that they have currently completed 82% of constructions works on CLLEX Phase 1 and expect to open an approximately 25km road stretch by December 2020.

The CLLEX project is a four-lane 30km expressway from SCTEX (Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway) and TPLEX (Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway) connection in Balincanaway, Tarlac City.

It ends at Daang Maharlika in Barangay Caalibangbangan, Cabanatuan City.

The PHP14.94bn ($300m) project has been designed to facilitate the movement of goods and services from SCTEX / TPLEX to the eastern part of Luzon towards Cagayan Valley, bypassing some town centres of Bulacan and Nueva Ecija.

Upon completion, the project would reduce the travel time between Tarlac City and Cabanatuan City from 70 minutes to just 20 minutes.

Once opened, the expressway will be used by nearly 11,200 motorists and will ease the traffic at Daang Maharlika Highway by 48%.

The project is being funded by the Government of the Philippines, as well as an Official Development Assistance (ODA) from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and is implemented by DPWH-UPMO Roads Management Cluster 1.

This January, DPWH announced that it will complete several road widening projects this year to improve travel from Koronadal City, South Cotabato to General Santos City.

Several infrastructure projects are currently being developed to address vehicular traffic concerns in the region.