On April 15 to 16, 2019, the Bicol and Calabarzon Regional Project Monitoring Committees (RPMC) conducted joint inspection of two projects that will improve the connectivity between the southernmost regions of Luzon: the Philippine National Railway (PNR) South Long Haul (SLH) Project and the Quezon-Bicol Expressway Project (QuBEx). The purpose of the activity was to inspect the existing facilities of the two projects, and orient the two RPMCs on the details and the proposed alignment of the projects.
The PNR presented the alignment and station options for the SLH project and the railroad crossings that will be covered. The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) presented the QuBEx project, its alignment options, and the proposed implementation schedule including the status of the Toll Road 4 (TR4) Project (SLEX Extension Project), which will connect to the QuBEx.
The feasibility study of the PNR SLH project was approved in 2017 and the detailed engineering design is currently being prepared. Once finished, the project will provide railway transport from Manila to Matnog, Sorsogon. The PNR further ensures that the project will cut travel time to six hours from Manila to Legazpi City at a design speed of 160 km/hour.
On one hand, the QuBEx is a 220-kilometer expressway that will start at Pagbilao, Quezon and will end at the Asian Highway 26 in San Fernando, Camarines Sur. The expressway will provide a fast and developed alternative route, and will result to approximately two hour-savings in travel time. The end of QuBEx in San Fernando will connect to the ongoing Camarines Sur Expressway project.
The activity paved way to recommend some actions that should be considered prior to construction of the two projects. Among the recommendations to PNR for the SLH project are: (1) to coordinate with DPWH and Toll Regulatory Board to resolve conflict in the alignment of roads and railway tracks, and facilitate intermodal transport; and (2) to prepare an action plan for the abandoned PNR right-of-way that will not be utilized.
On QuBEx, the DPWH shall simultaneously seek endorsements from the Bicol and Calabarzon Regional Development Councils and Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) approval of the project. The preparation of ICC forms and requirements for this project is ongoing.
The Bicol and Calabarzon RPMC with representatives from DPWH during the ocular inspection of the proposed site of the Unisan Interchange of QuBEx Project in Unisan, Quezon.
(Source: NEDA Calabarzon Facebook)
Ms. Ester Barria of NEDA Region 5 during the coordination meeting/project briefing of the PNR South Long Haul and QuBex projects.
Ocular inspection of the proposed Calamba train station of the PNR South Long Haul Project.(Source: NEDA Calabarzon Facebook)
Ocular inspection of the proposed site of Tayabas Interchange of the QuBEx Project in Tayabas, Quezon. (Source: NEDA Calabarzon Facebook)