In the early 1990’s consistent with the Philippines 2000 program of then President Fidel V. Ramos, the government and Philippine National Construction Corporation (PNCC) started seeking joint venture partners with technical, operational and financial resources in order to rehabilitate and modernize the original NLEX as a “flagship project”, expand it to the Subic and Clark Special Economic Zones and construct the northern portion of Circumferential Road C-5 from the University of the Philippines to Malabon City near the port of Manila.
In 1998, MNTC was granted the concession for the NLEX embodied in a Supplementary Toll Operation Agreement (STOA) amongst the Republic of the Philippine (ROP), trough the TRB and PNCC. Under the STOA, the Government confirmed the assignment by PNCC of its usufructuary rights, interest and privileges over the existing NLEX including all extensions, linkages and diversions in favor of MNTC. These concession rights authorized MNTC to construct, finance, manage, operate and maintain all the Project Roads covered by Phases 1,2 and 3 of the Manila North Expressway (MNE) and charge tolls thereon.
After successfully obtaining the needed financing for the project, MNTC commenced construction of Phase 1 in February 2003. In February 2005, Phased 1 was successfully completed on time. Following the issuance of the Toll Operation Permit by the Toll Regulatory Board, commercial operations started on February 10, 2005.
The new North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) is a modern toll expressway commissioned by the Government to replace the rundown North Luzon diversion road and to facilitate the development of the Subic and Clark Special Economic Zones. From the National Capital Region (NCR), the new NLEX serves as the main gateway to Central and North Luzon. The southern end is located at Balintawak Cloverleaf Interchange in Quezon City starting from the Junction of A. Bonifacio Road and EDSA. The NLEX runs northward through the agricultural areas of Bulacan and Pampanga towards the large cities of San Fernando and Angeles City. Close to the NLEX’s northern segment lies the former US Air Force Base of Clark Field.
The NLEX is one of the biggest infrastructure projects undertaken in the country. Its completion and operation has contributed in the economic growth in over three regions and 21 provinces.
The project involved the rehabilitation, expansion and modernization of the 84-kilometer North Luzon Expressway. It included upgrading the existing 295 lane kilometers from Balintawak to Sta. Ines and constructing an additional 138 lane kilometers from Balintawak to Sta. Rita, Bulacan, for a total of 433 Kilometers.
In the new NLEX, additional lanes were built on the mainline with eight lanes on both directions from Balintawak to Burol and six lanes from Burol to Sta. Rita. Four lanes from Sta. Rita to Balem and two lanes from Balem to Sta. Ines underwent major rehabilitation.
All existing 91 toll booths were demolished to give way to 145 new toll booths. Also four toll plazas were constructed and expanded in Balintawak, Bocaue, Tabang and Dau while 26 permanent exits have been widened. In addition, one new flyover in Novaliches and an interchange in Dau were added to ease up the flow of traffic.
A modern and fully computerized tollway management and collection system were put in place making it very convenient to motorists which are given three payment options: electronic toll system or EC Lane, swipe card r cash.
For utmost safety and travel comfort, a traffic management system is strictly enforced with traffic enforcers patrolling the expressway day and night. CCTV cameras are positioned strategically along the expressway to monitor traffic from the traffic control room (TCR) in Balintawak to enable traffic enforces and emergency response teams to immediately provide 24-hours assistance whenever needed.
The security group of NLEX is active 24-hours to prevent possible criminal incidents inside the NLEX. The NLEX management also has signed an agreement with our various authorities in the National Capital Region to ensure immediate action is carried out during emergencies.
To further provide better service to our motorists, the NLEX has 100 emergency call boxes placed every one (1) kilometer interval for Segment 1 and two (2) kilometer intervals for Segments 2 and 3 for both north and south bound directions. This will give the motorists a direct line to the TCR any time of the day should they require any form of assistance.