SMC fast-tracking SLEX extension project

San Miguel Corporation (SMC) announced on Friday that work on its 66.74-km. South Luzon Expressway Tollroad-4 (SLEX-TR4) project in Quezon province is picking up pace despite pandemic restrictions and unsettled right-of-way issues.

“We are in the initial stages of construction for SLEX-TR4, but despite the limitations of the pandemic and delays in right-of-way acquisitions, we’re moving forward and making good progress,” SMC president Ramon S. Ang said.

The massive thoroughfare, which will extend from Sto. Tomas, Batangas to Lucena City, is a strategic road project that is seen to boost the southern Tagalog region and significantly contribute to the country’s pandemic-recovery efforts.

“Next to the TPLEX (Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway), SLEX-TR4 is our longest expressway project by far. We know from experience the inherent challenges of a project of this scale, so we are able to mitigate them and do the best we can,” Ang said.

“As with any project of this size, acquiring all the necessary rights-of-way is the primary challenge. While we anticipated that it will take some time, it also doesn’t mean we don’t do anything. We are using the same strategy we utilized for our Skyway 3 project–which is to concentrate work on all workable areas–and then adjust as other areas become available,” Ang added.

The company said that work on SLEX-TR4, which started in 2019, is currently concentrated on the project’s Section B in Alaminos, Laguna and Section C in Tiaong, Quezon, near the Hacienda Escudero area.

At Section B, construction is focused on the project’s PNR underpass, Koquinkona bridge, and Maharlika underpass, all parallel to the Alaminos-Tiaong Bypass road. Pipe-laying for drainage as well as embankment works to level the road prior to laying of concrete, is also ongoing, according to SMC.

Meanwhile, at Section C, work on the Tiaong, Quezon interchange has also progressed well, according to Ang. Construction of the Tiaong bridge, Tiaong underpass, and Dolores bridge, as well as drainage and embankment works, are also underway.

“SLEX-TR4 will form part of our interconnected expressway network in the south, designed not just to ease transport of people and goods, but also to disperse economic growth and growth opportunities so it can reach and benefit our countrymen in our regions,” Ang said.

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