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Widening of vital QC-Caloocan-Valenzuela road set
« on: January 12, 2017, 06:14:21 PM »
Widening of vital QC-Caloocan-Valenzuela road set
By Severino C. Samonte

MANILA, Jan. 11 (PNA) -- The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is set to widen a nine-kilometer long national road connecting the old Novaliches Poblacion in Quezon City with portions of North Caloocan and Valenzuela City in the northernmost wing of Metro Manila under the Duterte administration’s "Golden Age of Infrastructure" program.

The DPWH under Secretary Mark Villar said the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board chaired by President Rodrigo R. Duterte has approved the appropriation of PHP2.8 billion for the improvement and widening of the old Novaliches-Polo Road, which has been renamed after Gen. Luis Malinis, one of the closest aides of Katipunan founder Andres Bonifacio during the early phase of the 1896 Revolution against Spanish rule in the Philippines.

This street is the only direct link from MacArthur Highway in Barangay Malinta, Valenzuela City to the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and Quirino Highway marking the center of the former Novaliches town, which has been divided between Quezon City and Caloocan City since 1948.

Gen. Luis St. traverses at least nine big and populous barangays in the three cities -- Novaliches Proper or Poblacion, Nagkaisang Nayon, Caybiga, Bagbaguin, Paso de Blas, Canumay, Fortune Village, Maysan and Malinta.

Located along both sides of the narrow road -- with just one lane each way -- are numerous subdivisions and manufacturing plants, aside from schools, shopping malls, banks, drug distribution outlets and residential houses.

As there is no other crossing road along its entire nine-kilometer length except for the North Luzon Expressway midway in Barangay Paso de Blas, Gen. Luis St. is used 24 hours a day by all kinds of vehicles -- buses, passenger jeepneys, taxicabs, trucks, motorcycles and tricycles.

As a result, travel speed by buses, jeepneys and other motor vehicles along certain sections of this road, particularly from Barangay Caybiga, North Caloocan to the NLEX in Barangay Paso de Blas, Valenzuela, is sometimes four kilometers or more per hour.

Truck ban is not imposed along the road by either the local governments of the three cities or the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) since it is designated as route of cargo trucks coming from Quezon City and MacArthur Highway bound for the NLEX.

NEDA Director General Ernesto Pernia has been reported as saying that the project will ease the perennial heavy traffic in the northernmost portion of the adjacent cities of Quezon, Caloocan and Valenzuela.

Of this road’s total length of nine kilometers, one-half belongs to the jurisdiction of Valenzuela City (formerly Polo town of Bulacan) and the other half is shared by Caloocan and Quezon City.

Pernia said the project aims to expand the carriageways of the road network, and rehabilitate three short bridges along it in Malinta, Maysan and Paso de Blas.

According to the NEDA, the project is expected to be implemented in one year -- from January 2018 to January 2019.

Three decades ago or until the 1980s, when both sides of the nine-kilometer road were still dotted by rice fields, travel time from Valenzuela to Novaliches, and vice versa, was only 10 minutes.

At present it takes one-hour-and-a-half to reach either destination.

It also takes the same length of time or more for bus travelers from Novaliches to reach Blumentritt, Quiapo or Sta. Cruz, Manila, or Cubao, Quezon City. (PNA)

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