North Luzon Expressway

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The North Luzon Expressway.

North Luzon Expressway
formerly North Diversion Road
Marcelo H. del Pilar Superhighway
Radial Road 8
Map of expressways in Luzon, with the North Luzon Expressway in red
Route information
Maintained by Tollways Management Corporation
Length: 84.0 km (52.2 mi)
Major junctions
North end: MacArthur Highway in Barangay Sta. Ines, Mabalacat, Pampanga
Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway in Mabalacat
South end: Epifanio de los Santos Avenue in Barangay Balingasa and Pag-ibig sa Nayon in Quezon City
Location
Major cities: Quezon City, Caloocan (South), Valenzuela, Meycauayan, Malolos, San Fernando (Pampanga), Angeles,and Mabalacat
Towns: Marilao, Bocaue, Balagtas, Guiguinto, Plaridel, Pulilan, San Simon and Mexico
Highway system
Highways in the Philippines
The Santa Ines-bound NLEX, just north of Paso de Blas, Valenzuela

The North Luzon Expressway (NLE or NLEx), and which is formerly called the North Diversion Road and Manila North Expressway (MNEX), and officially known as Radial Road 8 is a 2 to 8-lane limited-access toll expressway that connects Metro Manila to the provinces of the Central Luzon region in the Philippines. It is one of the two branches of the Radial Road 8 (R-8) of Metro Manila (Quirino Highway is the other). It was built in the 1960s.

The expressway begins in Quezon City at a cloverleaf interchange with EDSA: a continuation of Andres Bonifacio Avenue. It then passes through Quezon City, Caloocan, and Valenzuela in Metro Manila. Meycauayan, Marilao, Bocaue, Balagtas, Guiguinto, Malolos, Plaridel, and Pulilan in Bulacan. San Simon, San Fernando, Mexico and Angeles in Pampanga. The expressway currently ends at Mabalacat and merges with the MacArthur Highway, which continues northward into the rest of Central and Northern Luzon.

There is a proposed direct interchange between the North Luzon Expressway and the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway. The interchange is located 3 km. north of Sta. Ines Exit. Currently, the Spur/NLE exit served as the connection between the expressway and the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway via Clark Spur Road.

The expressway, including Andres Bonifacio Avenue, has total length of 88 kilometers. The expressway segment has a length of 84 kilometres.

Originally controlled by the Philippine National Construction Corporation or PNCC, operation and maintenance of the NLEx was transferred in 2005 to the Manila North Tollways Corporation, a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (formerly, it was the subsidiary of the Lopez Group of Companies until 2008). A major upgrade and rehabilitation has been completed in February 2005 and the road has now similar qualities as a modern French tollway. The main contractor of the rehabilitation work was Leighton Contractors Pty. Ltd (Australia) with Egis Projects, a company belonging to the French Groupe Egis as the main subcontractor for the toll, telecommunication and traffic management systems. To help maintain the safety and quality of the expressway, various rules are in effect, such as restricting the left lane to passing vehicles only and banning overloaded trucks.

Expansion[edit]

Segment 8.1[edit]

The NLEx Segment 8.1 or the NLEX Mindanao Avenue Link is a four lane, 2.7 kilometer expressway that runs from Mindanao Avenue to the NLEx cloverleaf in Valenzuela City. This is an alternate route to NLEx from Manila. Open to traffic on July 10, 2010. This segment is a part of C-5 Road North Extension.

Segment 8.2[edit]

The NLEx Segment 8.2 will connect NLEx segment 8.1 to the Congressional Avenue and Luzon Avenue. MNTC is ready to undertake its next road project called NLEX C-5 Link that will connect the north to the south via C-5, Rodrigo E. Franco, MNTC president announced Franco said the new project is an important section of the Manila North Expressway concession of MNTC. The 7.85-km NLEX C-5 Link will connect the NLEX main to C-5 through Mindanao Ave. Estimated cost is at P6.1 billion, inclusive of operating equipment and other facilities with commercial operations expected to begin by June 2016.

Ramon S. Fernandez, MPTC president, said the project “represents MPTC’s continuing commitment in investing in projects that will promote economic development in both the urban areas and in the countryside.”

Earlier, MNTC completed a 2.7 km expressway that links the NLEX main to Mindanao Avenue with the country’s largest cloverleaf interchange called Smart Connect Interchange as its main feature.

When completed, NLEX C-5 Link will dramatically decongest traffic along Commonwealth Avenue and Quezon Avenue – the normal route of southbound motorists from northwest of Metro Manila. This will significantly cut down travel time and generate savings on fuel and vehicle wear and tear.

Segment 9[edit]

This segment will connect NLEx to the MacArthur Highway. This segment is now under construction and a part of C-5 Road North Extension.

Segment 10[edit]

This Segment will connect NLEx segment 9 and Skyway Stage 3 to the Manila North Harbor.

Skyway Stage 3 (MPIC Proposal)[edit]

There are plans for a construction of an elevated road to connect North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and South Luzon Expressway (SLEX).

The government has reportedly accepted an unsolicited proposal from Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corp. (MPTDC) to build the 13.24-kilometer road. MPTDC is a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), which runs NLEX.

Known as the Connector Road project, the elevated expressway will have a distance of 13.24 kilometers with 10.54 kilometers right over the Philippine National Railways tracks and the remaining 2.7 kilometers over Osmeña Highway.

It will be connected in the north to Segment 10, which will soon be constructed through the cities of Caloocan and Valenzuela. In the south, it will be linked to the skyway near Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue (Buendia) in Makati City. Once completed, the Connector Road will have four entry and exit points: C-3 Road in Caloocan, España and Quirino Avenue in Manila, and Buendia in Makati.

Construction of the project is estimated to cost P17 billion, but as an "all-elevated" structure, right-of-way acquisition shall be reduced to an estimated cost of only P2.41-billion. Construction is anticipated to start when NLEX Segments 9 and 10 are complete.

Technical specifications[edit]

  • Name: North Luzon Expressway
  • Concession holder: Manila North Tollways Corporation
  • Operator: Tollways Management Corporation
  • Length: 84 km
  • Concession starting date: February 2005
  • Concession ending date: February 2037
  • Highway exits: 15
  • Toll plazas: 4
  • Rest and Service Areas: 7
  • Minimum Height Clearance on Underpasses: 4.27 m (14')

Tolls[edit]

Bocaue Toll Plaza in Bulacan

The tollway has two sections: an open section and a closed section.[1] The open section (within Metro Manila) charges a flat toll based on vehicle class and is employed to reduce the number of toll barriers (and associated bottlenecks) within the metropolis. The closed section is distance-based, charging based on the class of vehicle and distance traveled. Class 1 vehicles can use an electronic toll collection system (called EC Tag) to reduce wait times and congestion at toll barriers. A prepaid magnetic card (the NLE Badge) is provided as an alternative payment for class 2 and 3 vehicles. Both systems connect to accounts that can be replenished in various ways. As of October 1, 2011, all tolls (as shown below) include the 12% Value-Added Tax (VAT).

Class Open System
(Balintawak-Bocaue)
Closed System
(Tabang-Sta.Ines)
Class 1
(Cars, Motorcycles, SUVs, Jeepneys)
PhP 45 PhP 2.38/km
Class 2
(Buses, Light Trucks)
PhP 114 PhP 5.95/km
Class 3
(Heavy Trucks)
PhP 136 PhP 7.14/km

Features[2][edit]

A typical section of NLEX near the Santa Rita interchange in Guiguinto
  • Variable message signs
  • Rumble strips
  • Emergency telephones (every 2 km in the Balintawak-Burol segment, every 1 km in the Burol-Sta. Ines segment)
  • Runaway truck ramp
  • Rest and service areas (privately owned and operated)
  • Closed-circuit television
  • Guard rails
  • Impact attenuators
  • Solid wall fence
  • Lighting arrestors
  • Car density sensors underneath road surface
  • Hidden speed guns
  • Electronic toll payment (class 1), Prepaid account cards (class 2/3)
  • Much of the expressway has been built to U.S. Interstate highway standards, featuring eight lanes through Metro Manila. As it enters the more rural area north of Manila, the expressway narrows to 6 and then 4 lanes with a grass median to separate the two carriageways.
    • All signage is in English, and are nearly identical to the "big green signs" (BGS) on American expressway, including white lettering on a green background, with the exit tab in the upper-right corner (distance signs even employ a font similar—if not identical—to the Caltrans font; all other signs employ a different font).
    • Like expressways in most American states, the NLEx uses a distance-based sequencing for numbering interchanges. Being a metric country, though, the system is kilometer-log rather than mile-log--exits numbered according to the distance (in kilometers) from Rizal Park in Manila, which is designated as Kilometer Zero in Luzon.

Technical Information[edit]

Lanes[edit]

NLEX in San Simon. The portion of NLEX in Pampanga is a four-lane expressway.

The NLEX has 8 lanes, which has 4 lanes in both directions from the Balintawak to Burol segment, 6 lanes with 3 lanes for both directions on the Burol to Sta. Rita segment and 4 lanes with 2 lanes for both directions on the Tabang Spur, Sta. Rita to Dau segment. There is even a part of the NLEX which consists of only 2 lanes, one for each direction. This segment is located after passing through the SCTEx Exit (Northbound).

It was announced on 7 November 2013 that the Manila North Tollways Corporation will expand the number of lanes of Santa Rita-San Fernando segment from four lanes to six lanes and SCTEx-Santa Ines segment from two lanes to four lanes. The expansion works will begin in 2014.[3]

Speed limit[edit]

100 km/h for cars and jeepneys, 80 km/h for trucks and buses, and 60 km/h is the minimum for all classes of vehicles. Speed limits are strictly enforced via CCTV cameras and speed guns, and speeders are usually identified as soon as they hit the tollbooth.

Major upgrade[edit]

San Fernando Toll Plaza in Pampanga, before the 2005 rehabilitation.

The upgrade consisted of rebuilding of roads and building new toll plazas. Launched in the beginning of 2003 and completed in February of 2005, the roadway now has modern features explained above.

Drainage Enhancement Program[edit]

The entire stretch of the expressway underwent another rehabilitation regarding its drainage systems. The expressway is known to be flooded during the rainy season and the goal of the project is to fix the drainage systems within the road to prevent flooding. Within this period, certain lanes of the road were closed to the traffic. This in turn caused massive traffic jams along the road and the speed limit on the construction sites were reduced from 80/100 km/h to 60 km/h.

The program started on 12 February 2007 and finished on 7 October 2007.

Shareholder companies[edit]

Pop Culture[edit]

  • The expressway was featured in the music video to the song "Toll Gate" by the band Hale.
  • It was also featured in the movie "Sa North Diversion Road" in 2005, based on Tony Perez's stage play of the same name. It was created by Dennis Marasigan.
  • From 6–17 June 2007, "On North Diversion Road", the play written by Tony Perez, was performed at The Arts House, Singapore, by young & W!LD, an actor training division of Singapore's W!LD RICE Theatre.

[1]

Exits[edit]

Exit numbers are based on kilometer post. Exits begin at 9 because the NLEx is a logical continuation of Andres Bonifacio Avenue. Rizal Park is designated as Kilometer Zero.

Current Exits[edit]

Kilometer No. Exit Interchange type Location Remarks
9 Balintawak Cloverleaf Exit Cloverleaf (End of Expressway) Quezon City Southbound traffic defaults onto Andres Bonifacio Avenue, to Caloocan (East Grace Park) and is the expressway's interchange with Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA). Going right is going to Manila, Navotas, and Malabon and going left is going to Quezon City proper, Marikina, San Juan, Mandaluyong, Makati and Pasay. Before NLEX was built, It was a roundabout connecting EDSA, A. Bonifacio Avenue and Quirino Highway.
10
Northbound
Novaliches Exit Half Y Northbound exit/Southbound entrance. This exit is directly connected to Quirino Highway (R-8 Alternate). It is an alternate route to other parts of Quezon City and Bulacan province. Motorists from EDSA northbound must take the service road to Quirino Highway.
11
Southbound
Libis Baesa Exit One-way Exit Ramp Caloocan (South) Southbound exit only. This serves as an alternate route for vehicles going to Caloocan and Malabon cities and to Quirino Highway through Baesa, Quezon City and Santa Quiteria, Caloocan.
12
Northbound
Balintawak Toll Plaza Proceeding northbound, motorists pay the open system toll at this plaza. If the motorist exits on or before Marilao Exit, it will encounter no further plazas. Beyond this, motorists enter the closed system and will pay the closed system's toll at the toll plaza for their exit. There is a runaway truck ramp next to the toll plaza. The corporate offices of Manila North Tollways Corporation and Tollways Management Corporation are also located here.
13 Smart Connect
Interchange
Cloverleaf Valenzuela Formerly named NLEx-C5/Mindanao Avenue Link Interchange. Eastbound goes to Mindanao Avenue (NLEx segment 8.1), Westbound goes to MacArthur Highway and Navotas (NLEx Segments 9 and 10).
15 Valenzuela Exit Diamond Exits to Maysan Road and formerly named Malinta Exit. West goes to Malinta, Valenzuela proper and MacArthur Highway. East goes to Bagbaguin and Novaliches in Caloocan (North) and Quezon City.
16
NLEx Segment 8.1
Westbound
Mindanao Avenue Toll Plaza This toll plaza is at the end of the NLEx Segment 8.1.
16
Southbound
Caltex Service Area This service area has a convenience store and 3 restrooms. The tollway plaza here never existed.
17
NLEx Segment 8.1
Mindanao Avenue Exit Three Way Intersection This exit goes to Mindanao Avenue, Staying on the inner lane leads to the underpass under the intersection and staying on the outer lane leads to the Mindanao Avenue - Quirino Highway Intersection.
17
Northbound
Lawang Bato Exit One-Way Exit Road Northbound exit/No entrance. This is only a temporary exit. This will be replaced by the proposed Canumay Exit.
20 Meycauayan Exit Folded Diamond with Roundabouts Meycauayan, Bulacan Exits to Malhacan Road. Southwest goes to Obando and to Meycauayan proper. Northeast goes to barangays Libtong and Iba.
22
Northbound
Petron Service Station Marilao, Bulacan
23 Marilao Exit Four-ramp Parclo This is the last exit on the open system. The closed system begins north of here. Exits to C. Santiago Street. West goes to San Jose del Monte. East goes to Marilao town proper.
25 Philippine Arena Exit Bocaue, Bulacan This exit will serve as a direct access to the Philippine Arena and Ciudad de Victoria.
26
Southbound
Bocaue Toll Plaza Proceeding on the southbound lane, motorists pay the toll for both the closed and open systems at this plaza. This makes it the last toll plaza that motorists encounter southbound, regardless of where motorists exit beyond this point.
27 Bocaue Exit Diamond Exits at Gov. Fortunato Halili Avenue. West goes to Bocaue town proper and the towns of Balagtas and Bulakan. East goes to the towns of Santa Maria, Pandi, Norzagaray, Angat and Sapang Palay district of San Jose Del Monte.
29
Southbound
Petron Service Area
31
Northbound
Shell Service Area Balagtas, Bulacan
32
Northbound
Tabang Exit Half Y Exits to Tabang Spur Road. Northbound exit/Southbound entrance. Southbound exit/Northbound entrance can be reached via Santa Rita Exit. Before NLEx was extended towards Mabalacat, it was just a curve.
34
Northbound
Balagtas Exit Half Y Northbound Exit/Southbound Entry. Opened on 20 March 2012, this exit goes directly to the Plaridel Bypass Road which bypasses the town propers of Guiguinto and Plaridel, and serves as an alternative route to the town of Balagtas. It also replaced Tabe Exit located in the middle of Tabang Spur in the town of Guiguinto.
36
Tabang Spur
Tabang Toll Plaza Guiguinto, Bulacan This leads to Malolos, Paombong and Hagonoy.
36
Southbound
Shell Service Area
37
Tabang Spur
Guiguinto Exit A4 parclo This exit is situated in the end of Tabang Spur Road. The original expressway ended here from 1967 to 1976 when NLEX was extended from the curve that is now the Tabang Spur Road interchange up to Dau. Going straight leads to Malolos, Paombong and Hagonoy via MacArthur Highway. Right goes to Maharlika Highway and Santa Rita Exit. Left goes to Guiguinto town proper and Balagtas via MacArthur Highway.
38 Santa Rita Exit Folded diamond Exits to Maharlika Highway. South goes to Guiguinto town proper, Malolos, and Tabang toll plaza. North goes to Plaridel town proper, Baliuag, San Rafael, Cabanatuan and the rest of the province of Nueva Ecija, Aurora and Cagayan Valley region.
45 Pulilan Exit Diamond Pulilan, Bulacan West goes to MacArthur Highway. East goes to Maharlika Highway. Vehicles from the southbound lanes can take this exit to Malolos and Baliuag. Vehicles from both the northbound and southbound lanes can take this exit to Pulilan town proper and Calumpit and may also serve as an alternate exit from the north instead of the Sta. Rita Exit for vehicles going to Nueva Ecija, Aurora Province and Cagayan Valley region.
48 Candaba Viaduct Apalit, Pampanga A 5 km long trestle over the Candaba Swamp and then the Pampanga River, the longest bridge in NLEX and Luzon.
55
Northbound
Total Service Area San Simon, Pampanga
56 San Simon Exit Diamond Exits to Quezon Road. Roads west head to Masantol, Macabebe, Apalit and Minalin, road east head to Santa Ana and Candaba.
62
Southbound
Caltex Service Area San Fernando, Pampanga
65 San Fernando Exit Folded Diamond with roundabouts (Northbound)
Diamond with roundabouts (Southbound)
Exits to Jose Abad Santos Avenue (OlongapoGapan Road). West heads to Bacolor, Guagua and Lubao in Pampanga, Bataan, Olongapo, Subic and the rest of Zambales province. East heads to Mexico, Santa Ana, Arayat and Gapan. Noteworthy are SM City Pampanga and Robinsons Star Mills Pampanga—both immediately east of the exit and visible from the expressway. This may also serve as an alternate exit to Nueva Ecija, Aurora and Cagayan Valley region instead of the Santa Rita or Pulilan Exits.
70
Northbound
Petron Service Area Mexico, Pampanga
72 Mexico Exit/Sindalan Exit Trumpet West goes to barangays Panipuan and Sindalan in San Fernando. East goes to Mexico town proper and the Lakeshore Estates. It replaced the old Lakeshore exit, located south of the exit, during the rehabilitation of NLEx.
76
Southbound
Shell Service Area
81 Angeles Exit Trumpet with Roundabout (Formerly: Parclo Interchange) Angeles, Pampanga This is an alternate route for vehicles bound for Clark Freeport Zone and Clark International Airport, via Mountain View Subdivision in Balibago. West goes to Pulung Maragul via Pandan Road where Marquee Mall is visible in the roadside. East goes to Pulung Cacutud and Magalang municipality. Before the NLEx rehabilitation, the Old Angeles Exit was located at the Magalang-Angeles Road overpass, located at the south of the current exit, and it was a small parclo interchange.
82 Dau Toll Plaza Mabalacat, Pampanga This is the last toll plaza encountered in the expressway for northbound vehicles.
83 Dau Exit Trumpet Exits to Dau Expressway in barangay Duquit. Further west lies Dau and its commercial center and bus terminal. This exit is mostly taken by motorists bound for Tarlac, Pangasinan, Ilocos Provinces, Abra, La Union and Baguio. This is yet another alternate route to Clark Special Economic Zone. It was formerly a terminus of NLEx before it was extended further to Santa Ines in 1989. Before the NLEx rehabilitation, it was a signaled intersection which pose risks to motorists.
85
Northbound
SCTEx Exit Half Y (Future: Trumpet) Connects the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway and NLEX via Clark Spur road at barangays Mabiga and Balem. This may be taken by motorists bound for Bataan, Olongapo, Subic Bay Freeport and Tarlac City for a shorter traveling time for now. The end of the exit is Mabalacat/NLEX/Clark Logistics Exit, which serves as the connector of the spur road and SCTEx itself. This is the only connection to SCTEx at this time until NLEX is extended in a northeast direction to connect with SCTEX and will serve as exit for Subic and Clark-bound vehicles.
88 Santa Ines Exit Trumpet (End of Expressway) This is the current end of the expressway, with the possibility of extending the expressway from this exit in a northeast direction until it meets up with the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway. West goes to Mabalacat city proper, Tarlac, Pangasinan, Ilocos Provinces, Abra, La Union and Baguio, and east goes to the Concepcion-Magalang Road.

Future Exits[edit]

All of these exits are still pending construction. The exits from Tarlac City to Rosario, La Union are still being planned, being part of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway.

Kilometer No. Exit Interchange type Location Remarks
cA Canumay Exit Valenzuela This exit will replace the Lawang Bato Temporary Exit.
24 NLE-C6 Interchange Marilao, Bulacan This is an interchange with the proposed C-6 Expressway.
30 Balagtas-North Food Exchange Exit Balagtas, Bulacan This exit will serve as a direct access to the North Food Exchange Complex and to the town of Balagtas, Bulacan. The construction was temporarily stopped in 2011 due to the delays in developing the site of the project.
36 NLE-NLEE Interchange This is an interchange with the proposed provincial spur road of North Luzon East Expressway.
TBA Clark International Airport Exit Pampanga This will be an exit leading to Clark International Airport in Angeles.
TBA Manila North Harbor Exit Caloocan This will be an entry to Manila North Harbor and Skyway via Skyway Stage 3 or NLEX Segment 11 (NLEx-SLEx Connector Road)
TBA Skyway: C-3 Exit Ramp This will be an Entry/Exit Ramp in C-3 Road, Grace Park, Caloocan
TBA Skyway: Manila Bay Exit Ramp Manila This will be an Entry/Exit Ramp in Marcos Road (R-10), Tondo, Manila
TBA Skyway: España Exit Ramp This will be an Entry/Exit Ramp in España Boulevard, Sampaloc, Manila. This exit takes the motorists to the proposed northern extension of Metro Manila Skyway which travels over the C-2 Road, some portion of the Osmeña Highway and further into the South Luzon Expressway, this may have few exits and therefore a faster route.
TBA Skyway: Rizal Avenue Exit Ramp This will be an Entry/Exit Ramp in Rizal Avenue, Santa Cruz, Manila. This exit takes the motorists to the proposed northern

extension of Metro Manila Skyway which travels over the C-2 Road, some portion of the Osmeña Highway and further into the South Luzon Expressway, this may have few exits and therefore a faster route.

1655 Skyway: Legarda Exit Ramp This will be an Entry/Exit Ramp in Legarda Street, Sampaloc, Manila
1667 Skyway: Zamora Exit Ramp This will be an Entry/Exit Ramp in West and East Zamora Street, Pandacan, Manila
1698 Skyway: Pedro Gil Exit Ramp This will be an Entry/Exit Ramp in Pedro Gil Street, Paco, Manila
1721 Skyway: Quirino Exit Ramp This will be an Entry/Exit Ramp in Quirino Avenue, Malate, Manila. This exit takes the motorists to the proposed northern extension of Metro Manila Skyway which travels over the C-2 Road, some portion of the Osmeña Highway and further into the South Luzon Expressway, this may have few exits and therefore a faster route.
1733 Congressional/Luzon Avenue Exit (End of Expressway) Quezon City This Exit is the end of NLEx Segment 8.2/NLEX-C5 Link, goes to the C-5 Congressional/Luzon Avenue.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]