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|North Diversion Road
Marcelo H. del Pilar Superhighway
Map of expressways in Luzon, with the North Luzon Expressway in red
|Maintained by Tollways Management Corporation|
|Length:||84.0 km (52.2 mi)|
|South end:||Route 1 / AH26 (EDSA) / Route 160 (Bonifacio Avenue) in Balintawak Cloverleaf, Quezon City|
Roads in the Philippines
The North Luzon Expressway (NLE or NLEx), formerly known as the North Diversion Road and Manila North Expressway (MNEX), is a 4 to 8-lane limited-access toll expressway that connects Metro Manila to the provinces of the Central Luzon region in the Philippines. It is a component of Expressway 1 (E1) of the Philippine expressway network and Radial Road 8 (R-8) of Metro Manila's arterial road network. It was built in the 1960s.
The expressway begins in Quezon City at the Balintawak Interchange with EDSA as a continuation of Andres Bonifacio Avenue. It then passes through Caloocan and Valenzuela in Metro Manila, and the provinces of Bulacan and Pampanga in Central Luzon. It currently ends at Mabalacat and merges with the MacArthur Highway, which continues northward into the rest of Central and Northern Luzon. The segment between Santa Rita Exit in Guiguinto and the Balintawak Interchange in Quezon City is a part of the new alignment of the N1 (AH26).
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 (PNCC), operation and maintenance of the NLEx was transferred in 2005 to Manila North Tollways Corporation, a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (a former subsidiary of the Lopez Group of Companies until 2008). A major upgrade and rehabilitation was completed in February 2005 with road now having similar qualities to a modern French tollway.
The original stretch of the expressway, from Balintawak Interchange up to Guiguinto Exit in Bulacan, was completed on August 4, 1968. It is a fully fenced limited-access highway that consisted of a four-lane rural divided roadway, nine twin bridges, one railroad overpass, seven underpasses and three interchanges.
Originally a project of the Department of Public Works and Highways, the completion of the major portion of the job fell on CDCP to pioneer the toll concept of funding infrastructure. It was carried out under the private financing scheme provided by Republic Act 3741.
Additional work required by the government included the construction of the Balintawak - Novaliches Interchange Complex, the Tabang Interchange, and the approach road of the underpasses.
In 1976, the NLT extension, consisting of 50.9 km of concrete road, was built as part of a highways program of the International Bank for Reconstruction Development linking major urban centers to the production centers in the north. The project features a 4-lane limited-access highway with a five-kilometer Candaba Viaduct, a construction innovation utilizing precast beam system, 6 interchanges, 12 bridges, and overpass/underpass structures.
Starting in 2003 and until February 2005, the expressway underwent a major rehabilitation. Rehabilitation works include the widening of the Balintawak - Tabang segment from 6 to 8 lanes and the Tabang - Sta. Rita segment from 4 to 6 lanes, asphalt overlay, and the demolition of old tollbooths. 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.
After the rehabilitation, the operations and maintenance of the expressway was transferred from the state-owned Philippine National Construction Corporation (PNCC) to the Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC).
In June 5, 2010, the NLEx Segment 8.1 or the NLEX Mindanao Avenue Link, a four lane, 2.34 kilometer spur road that runs from Mindanao Avenue to the SMART Connect Interchange in Valenzuela City was opened. The spur road is a part of the C-5 Road North Extension and is supposed to provide another entry point to the expressway from Metro Manila and decongest the Balintawak Interchange. In March 18, 2015, NLEX Segment 9 or the NLEX Karuhatan Link was opened, a 4.06 kilometer long continuation of Segment 8.1 that runs from the SMART Connect Interchange to MacArthur Highway.
The North Luzon Tollway (NLT) or NLEX Main cuts northwards from Manila to the provinces of Bulacan and Pampanga. The expressway parallels MacArthur Highway from Quezon City to Mabalacat in Pampanga. It has 8 lanes from Balintawak Interchange to Balagtas Interchange, 6 lanes from Balagtas Interchange to San Fernando Exit, and 4 lanes from San Fernando to Sta. Ines Exit. The expressways has bridges that cross seven rivers. Some portions of the expressway are lined with billboards, including its viaduct portion. High voltage power lines, primarily transmission and subtransmission lines which are operated and maintained by National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) and various distribution companies, respectively, run parallel or cross the expressway. One power line to take note is the Hermosa - Balintawak 230,000 volt transmission line, commissioned by the National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR) in 1993, which follows most part of the expressway between Valenzuela and San Fernando, including 13 reused steel poles and two lattice towers that were once located on Pulilan Regional Road and MacArthur Highway (excluding the current steel poles 381-383 located near Balagtas Interchange, pole 474 after the construction of Dulalia Overpass, and two new lattice towers and 45 steel poles on its Pulilan-San Simon segment which were commissioned by the National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) in 2007, and NGCP in 2010 and 2011, respectively).
The expressway starts at Balintawak Interchange as a physical continuation of Bonifacio Avenue. A Meralco subtransmission line also starts paralleling the expressway at this portion. A few meters after the cloverleaf is the Quirino Highway, with a northbound exit ascends into the flyover. The Reparo Road will parallel the expressway from Novaliches Exit to Eternal Gardens Memorial Park. A Libis Baesa Exit can be seen near the memorial park but it only serves a southbound lane. The road approaches to Balintawak toll plaza, widening to 17 lanes and only serving northbound. The offices of Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC) is located near the toll plaza. A new toll gate is being built between a northbound and southbound lanes.
The number of lanes will return to 4, continues straightward, passes to Tullahan River through the Tullahan Bridge, intersects with General T. De Leon Street, and passes the Smart Connect Interchange. The Hermosa-Balintawak transmission line of NGCP (mostly supported by tubular steel pole towers, with a few are made of steel lattice with designs of portal and three-level) enters the expressway, while the Meralco subtransmission line will move to the left and again to the right, just between a transmission line mentioned before. The West Service Road also parallels the expressway starting on this segment. It then passes through industrial areas and businesses within Valenzuela. The transmission line mentioned before will turn left and an East Service Road starts paralleling the expressway before Paseo de Blas exit. On Valenzuela Exit, a Puregold building and Malinta Market can be seen between it. The road continues on a straight route, with a Caltex service area located near the Dulalia overpass, until it enters Bulacan.
It crosses to Meycauayan River and after a few meters is the Meycauayan Exit to serve its town proper. Another service road named St. Francis Service Road that is located beside the expressway's southbound lane. It passes through residential areas and institutions within the municipality, intersects with Lias Road, and continues straightforward. On Marilao, there is a Petron service area and after it are the Marilao River and its exit. It enters Bocaue after Marilao Exit and intersects with Duhat Overpass. This is where the Hermosa-Balintawak line connects with Meralco Duhat substation to make a cut-in connection with it thus NGCP calls the power line as Balintawak-Duhat and Duhat-Hermosa transmission lines. Also, on Marilao Exit, this is where the painted portion of a said transmission line currently ends. Another Meralco subtransmission line enters the expressway and adjacent to the said substation is a plant of Atlas Feeds. The Philippine Arena can be seen on this segment. The road turns eastward to serve Bocaue toll plaza, with a southbound lane being widened to 22 lanes with 4 from a service road making a grand total of 26 lanes, and on the middle of it is a newly built toll plaza and road. It turns westward, passes through Bocaue Exit, Santa Maria River, and Taal Bridge, and continues on a straight direction until Balagtas Interchange. Before it are the Petron for southbound and Shell for northbound lanes. Pass Shell service area is the Tabang Spur Road and Balagtas Interchange which was opened on March 20, 2012. This is the former terminus of the original segment of an expressway from 1967 to 1976 before it extended to Dau.
The expressway reduces the number of lanes into three starting on Tabang Spur Road. Pass Balagtas Interchange is Krus Street. It continues on a straight route, passes through Guiguinto River, Shell of Asia service area, Metro Warehouse Bulacan, and Santa Rita Exit. The Mexico-Balintawak transmission line crosses the expressway on this portion. A few meters after Santa Rita Exit is another NGCP transmission line named Hermosa-San Jose. It intersects with Mabini Street, crosses into Tabang and Angat Rivers, and passes through Pulilan Exit. This exit is where Hermosa-Balintawak transmission line exits the expressway from December 1993 to March 2011 before it was relocated on an expressway segment between Pulilan and San Simon exits, including Candaba Viaduct.
A few meters after Pulilan Exit is the Candaba Viaduct (also known as Pulilan-Apalit Bridge). The bridge passes on a ricefields that are located within the municipalities of Pulilan, Calumpit and Apalit, and Pampanga River before the viaduct ends. (For more information about a route description of the viaduct, see Candaba Viaduct). The expressway continues straightforward, passes through Shell and Caltex service areas, San Simon Exit (where the said transmission line re-enters the expressway before early 2011), Abacan and San Fernando Rivers, Cosunjumi Street, and San Fernando Exit. Before San Fernando Exit, the Mexico-Hermosa of NGCP crosses the expressway while on the exit itself exits the Hermosa-Balintawak transmission line. Between San Simon and San Fernando Exits, the Mexico-Balintawak transmission line again crosses the expressway. The SM City Pampanga and Robinsons malls are seen from the expressway.
After San Fernando Exit, the expressway narrows into 2 lanes, both northbound and southbound. It continues as a straight roadway, passing through Paskuhan Village, Petron Lakeshore, Mexico Exit, Acle and Biyabas Overpass, Shell southbound service area, Raslag Solar Power Plant, Abacan and Quitangil Rivers, Angeles Exit (formerly a parclo interchange), Marquee Mall, former location of Dau Toll Plaza, Sapang Bago Bridge, Dau and SCTEX Exits, Mawaque Road, and it ends at Sta. Ines Interchange, with a toll plaza to serve an exit. The segment between SCTEX and Sta. Ines Exit used to be a two-lane road but has since widened into four lanes. Also on SCTEX Exit, there is a 69,000 volt line of Clark Electric Distribution Company (CEDC).
Tabang Spur Road is a spur road which branches out of the main alignment of NLEX at Balagtas and proceeds to MacArthur Highway at Guiguinto Exit. The entire spur is located in Guiguinto. It starts at an interchange with MacArthur Highway and will pass to Tabang Toll Plaza, where the offices of Tollways Management Corporation are located. It will cross the Guiguinto River through the Guiguinto Bridge and pass the river is an overpass. The road continues eastward and another overpass named Tabe 1 Overpass crosses the road. It will turn westward and cross the PNR Railway and Sapang Ugong River through PNR and Sapang Ugong bridges, respectively. The road turns eastward for the eastbound vehicles and westward for those entering the spur road, where it ends and enters the NLEX Main.
The Mindanao and Karuhatan Link starts with MacArthur Highway on Valenzuela where the link to the future NLEX Segment 10 will be built. It will reach the Karuhatan toll plaza and continues eastward until it intersects the NLEX Main which is called Smart Connect Interchange. A Meralco subtransmission line, tubular steel pole towers 494, 495, and 496 of Hermosa-Balintawak, and Mexico-Balintawak transmission lines, both maintained and operated by NGCP, cross or intersect the interchange. The level of a road will lower past the interchange. It will pass to Que Grande, where its overpass is located and after it are the San Jose-Balintawak and San Rafael-Balintawak transmission lines. It enters Quezon City, with another overpass located on this portion and pass that is the Mindanao Avenue toll plaza. After the toll plaza, it will parallel to Detour Road and ends on Mindanao Avenue.
NLEX Segment 10 starts on a western terminus of Mindanao and Karuhatan Link. It intersects with A. Pablo St., passes through Lienado and Araneta Subdivisions, Tullahan River, and Gov. Pascual Avenue. The highway enters Caloocan, where it will pass Samson Avenue and various establishments within the city.
The NLEx Segment 8.2 will be a 7.85km segment that will connect NLEx segment 8.1 to C-5 Road and Commonwealth Avenue. The planned segment will at first run parallel to Republic Avenue before making a southward turn to Luzon Avenue after which it will then connect to Commonwealth Avenue. The segment will include two interchanges in Mindanao and Regalado Avenues, a roundabout connection at Congressional Avenue, and three local road crossings at Quirino, Sauyo, and Chestnut Avenues.
The NLEX Segment 10 is a four lane, 5.65 kilometer elevated expressway that runs from the NLEX Karuhatan Link to C-3 road. This segment will be open to traffic in March 2018 and the R-10 road section will be completed by December 2018.
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 Corporation (MPTDC) to build the 13.24-kilometer road. MPTDC is a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC), which runs NLEX.
Known as the Connector Road project, the elevated expressway will have run over the Philippine National Railways tracks until terminating to the Skyway Stage 3 Interchange.
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 PUP in Sta. Mesa. Once completed, the Connector Road will have four entry and exit points: C-3 Road in Caloocan, España, Quirino Avenue in Manila and terminating through the Skyway Stage 3 Interchange in Sta, Mesa Manila. This project will be open to traffic on April 2021.
Construction of the project is estimated to cost ₱17 billion, but as an "all-elevated" structure, right-of-way acquisition shall be reduced to an estimated cost of only ₱2.41 billion. Construction is anticipated to start when NLEX Karuhatan Link and Segment 10 are complete.
This consists of three segments with an approximate length of 58 km from San Simon, Pampanga to Dinalupihan, Bataan connecting to Segment 7 in Subic Freeport.
The tollway has two sections: an open section and a closed section. 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. When the expressway was modernized, an electronic toll collection system was set up for Class 1 vehicles while prepaid magnetic cards were assigned to Class 2 and 3 vehicles to speed up transactions at toll booths. These have since been replaced by a unified ETC system operated by Easytrip Services Corporation. As of October 1, 2011, all tolls (as shown below) include the 12% Value-Added Tax (VAT).
(cars, motorcycles, SUVs, jeepneys)
(buses, light trucks)
The NLEX has 8 lanes, 4 lanes in both directions from the Balintawak to Burol segment, 6 lanes with 3 lanes for both directions on the Burol to San Fernando segment and 4 lanes with 2 lanes for both directions on the Tabang Spur and San Fernando to Santa Ines segment. Before the lane expansion project of 2016, there was 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) but has since been expanded into four lanes.
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.
The upgrade consisted of rebuilding of roads and building new toll plazas. Launched in the beginning of 2003 and completed in February 2005, the roadway now has modern features explained above.
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.
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.
|Metro Manila||Quezon City||9||5.6||Balintawak Cloverleaf||Route 1 (EDSA) / AH26 – Cubao||South end of AH26 concurrency. Southern terminus. Continues south as Bonifacio Avenue (N160). Link with the future Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3.|
|9||5.6||Novaliches||Route 127 (Quirino Highway)||Northbound exit and southbound entrance.|
|Caloocan||10||6.2||Libis Baesa||Libis, Baesa||Southbound exit only.|
|10||6.2||Manila North Expressway: Balintawak toll plaza (1968-2005. demolished)|
|10||6.2||Balintawak toll plaza (Easytrip, cash payments. Northbound only)|
|Valenzuela||11||6.8||11||Smart Connect Interchange||E5 (NLEX Mindanao Avenue/Karuhatan Link) – Mindanao Avenue, Valenzuela||Cloverleaf interchange|
|14||8.7||Mapulang Lupa||Mapulang Lupa, Paso de Blas, Parada||Northbound exit only. Demolished.|
|15||9.3||15||Paso de Blas (Valenzuela)||Paso de Blas, Valenzuela||Diamond interchange|
|16||9.9||Petron (Valenzuela NLEX southbound) service area|
|17||11||17||Lawang Bato||Lawang Bato, Punturin||Northbound exit only
Future for Canumay Exit.
|17||11||17||Lingunan||Lingunan, Canumay, Lawang Bato||Southbound exit only.|
|Central Luzon||Bulacan||Meycauayan||19||12||19||Libtong||Libtong||Northbound exit only.|
|20||12||20||Meycauayan||Meycauayan||Folded diamond interchange|
|21||13||21||Pandayan||Pandayan||Southbound exit only.|
|Marilao||23||14||23||Marilao (demolished)||Marilao||Northbound Exit only. Replaced by a new exit with the same name a few meters north.|
|23||14||23||Marilao||Marilao||Folded diamond / Four ramp parclo interchange|
|24||15||NLEX-C6 Interchange||Links to the proposed C6 expressway. Interchange type not yet known.|
|Bocaue||26||16||Ciudad de Victoria||Northbound exit only. Temporarily used exit to Ciudad de Victoria|
|28||17||Bocaue toll plaza (Easytrip, cash payments. Southbound only). North end of barrier toll system. Start of closed road toll system.|
|28||17||27||Bocaue||Bocaue, Santa Maria||Folded diamond interchange|
|30||19||Petron (Bocaue NLEX southbound)|
|Balagtas||30||19||Balagtas-NFEx Interchange||Unopened Interchange. Construction temporarily stopped in 2011 due to the delays in developing the site of the project.|
|31||19||Shell (Balagtas NLEX northbound)|
|32||20||32||Tabang||Tabang, Guiguinto, Malolos||Half-Y interchange. Northbound exit and southbound entrance.|
|33||21||34||Balagtas||Balagtas||Half-Y interchange. Northbound exit and southbound entrance.|
|Guiguinto||36||22||NLEx-NLEEx Interchange||Links to the proposed provincial spur road of North Luzon East Expressway. Interchange type not yet known|
|37||23||Shell of Asia (northbound) service area|
|38||24||38||Santa Rita||Plaridel, Baliuag, Cabanatuan||Folded diamond interchange. North end of AH26 concurrency.|
|Pulilan||45||28||45||Pulilan||Pulilan, Calumpit,||Diamond interchange.|
|Candaba Swamp||Candaba Viaduct|
|Pampanga||San Simon||56||35||56||San Simon||San Simon, Santo Tomas||Diamond interchange|
|San Fernando||62||39||Caltex (San Fernando NLEX southbound) service area|
|San Fernando, Olongapo, Mexico, Gapan||Half-partial cloverleaf and half-diamond interchange. Access to SM City Pampanga and Sky Ranch Pampanga.|
|Mexico||71||44||Petron (Mexico NLEX northbound) service area|
|Angeles||81||50||81||Angeles (closed)||Angeles, Magalang||Parclo interchange (1984–2005) demolished. Replaced by a current exit few meters north.|
|81||50||81||Angeles||Angeles, Magalang||Trumpet interchange access to Marquee Mall.|
|Mabalacat||82||51||Dau toll plaza (demolished)|
|83||52||83||Dau Exit||Dau, Mabalacat||Trumpet interchange|
|85||53||85||SCTEX||E1 / E4 (SCTEX) – Clark Airport, Tarlac City, Baguio, Subic||Half T/Half Trumpet/Half Y interchange. Route transition from E1 to E5. Northbound exit and southbound entrance. Future for Trumpet Interchange.|
|87||54||Santa Ines toll plaza (Easytrip, cash payments, from March 18, 2016)|
|88||55||88||Santa Ines||Clark Airport, Baguio (via Concepcion), Luisita||Northern end of expressway|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
|Quezon City||Route 128 (Mindanao Avenue)||East end of expressway. Link to the future NLEX Segment 8.2.|
|Mindanao Avenue toll plaza (Easytrip, cash payments, westbound only)|
|Valenzuela||Smart Connect Interchange||E1 (NLEX) – Manila, Baguio||Cloverleaf interchange with collector lanes|
|Karuhatan toll plaza (Easytrip, cash payments, eastbound only)|
|Route 1 (MacArthur Highway)||West end of expressway. Link to the future NLEX Segment 10.|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
The entire route is located in Guiguinto, Bulacan..
|Route 1 (MacArthur Highway)||West end of Tabang Spur Road, end of expressway|
|Tabang toll plaza (Easytrip, cash payments, westbound and eastbound)|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
All of these exits are still pending construction.
|Kilometer No.||Exit||Interchange type||Location||Remarks|
|TBD||NLEX–SLEX Connector (Segment 11): Skyway Exit Ramp||Manila||This will be an entry/exit ramp in Quirino Avenue, Paco, Manila. This exit takes the motorists to the common alignment with the northern extension of Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 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.|
|TBD||NLEX–SLEX Connector (Segment 11): España Toll Plaza||This toll plaza is located at NLEx-SLEx Connector Road.|
|TBD||NLEX–SLEX Connector (Segment 11): 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.|
|TBD||NLEX–SLEX Connector (Segment 11): C-3 Road Exit Ramp||Caloocan (South)||This will be an entry/exit ramp in C-3 Road, Grace Park, Caloocan.|
|TBD||C-3-Caloocan Interchange||Directional T|
NLEx Segment 10
|Malabon Exit Ramp||This will be an entry/exit ramp in C-3 Road, Dagat-Dagatan Ave., Caloocan.|
NLEx Segment 10
|Navotas Interchange||Directional T||Navotas|
NLEx Segment 10
|Radial Road 10 Toll Plaza||This toll plaza is located at NLEx Segment 10.1.|
NLEx Segment 10
|Manila North Harbor Exit||This will be an entry to Manila North Harbor or NLEX Segment 11 (NLEx-SLEx Connector Road)|
NLEx Segment 8.2
|Regalado Toll Plaza||Quezon City||This toll plaza is located at NLEx Segment 8.2. It will soon replace the toll plaza in Mindanao Avenue when completed|
NLEx Segment 8.2
|Congressional/Luzon Avenue Exit||(End of Expressway)||This exit is the end of NLEx Segment 8.2/NLEX–C5 Link, goes to the C-5 Congressional/Luzon Avenue.|
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