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The proposed 180-km Quezon-Bicol Express will serve as alternative to the decades-old Maharlika highway

Quezon-Bicol Expressway to be bided off by end-2018

Construction of a 180-kilometer expressway stretching from southern Quezon to Camarines Sur will be auctioned to the private sector before the end of 2018, according to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

Alex Bote, DPWH public-private partnership (PPP) director, said the agency will undertake a feasibility study on the Quezon-Bicol Expressway (QBEX), a project aimed at significantly reducing travel time between Manila and Bicol.

“By 4th quarter of this year, we will begin the tender process of QBEX,” Bote said.

The expressway project covers 180 kilometers from Pagbilao, Quezon to San Fernando, Camarines Sur.

Project cost will be determined upon completion of the feasibility study, Bote said.

“By 4th quarter of 2019, the detailed engineering design [of QBEX is expected to be done]. [This will be] followed by right-of-way acquisition starting the 4th quarter of 2020, so we will be able to proceed with the construction by 1st quarter of 2022,” Bote said.

The DPWH targets to finish the construction of the proposed expressway PPP deal by 2026.

Once completed, DPWH said QBEX will be a faster alternative to the congested Maharlika Highway for travelers between southern Luzon and Bicol.

“For the longest time, Daang Maharlika Highway also known as Pan-Philippine Highway is the only route of motorists heading and coming from Bicol region to Manila,” Bote said.

“With QBEX, traveling will not only be faster but also safer since motorists can avoid traversing through mountainside and other fragmentary roads of Maharlika Highway,” he added.

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