Ayala, SM propose to build P25-B elevated expressway
John Matthew Cruz
TWO of the country’s largest conglomerates, Ayala Corp. and SM Investments Corp. (SMIC), have submitted a joint unsolicited proposal to the government to build an 8.6-kilometer elevated tollway that would link Sta. Mesa to the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Complex in Pasay City at a cost of P25 billion.
Ayala and SMIC announced on Friday that they submitted an unsolicited proposal to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to design, finance, construct, operate, and maintain the C3 Elevated Expressway (C3EX) for 35 years.
The proposed C3EX is expected to reduce traffic congestion in the main thoroughfare by 75 percent.
Rene Almendras, chief executive officer of Ayala infrastructure vehicle AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp. (AC Infra), said in a press briefing that C3EX will complete the Circumferential Road 3 (C3) and is designed to “provide an expressway experience as a way to be able to travel without having to stop.”
This will be an “alternative to EDSA” for travelers coming from the south to north, and will traverse the Manila Bay development areas, the Makati central business district, and the cities of Mandaluyong, San Juan, and Manila.
C3EX will start from Sta. Mesa and will have exits to Circuit Makati, Ayala-Gil Puyat, Roxas Boulevard, and the SM Mall of Asia Complex. It is expected to accommodate 100,000 to 150,000 vehicles on four lanes, and will charge P11 per kilometer.
The proposal will go through the government process for unsolicited proposals under the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Law.
“SM was the first one who thought of the project, mainly to connect their existing projects,” Almendras said, citing that the two parties are still in talks with potential partners who are “interested” to participate in the C3EX project.
If the project is approved by the National Economic and Development Authority–Investment Coordinating Committee (NEDA-ICC) and is subjected to a Swiss challenge, awarding will likely be made in the second quarter of 2018, Almendras said.
He said construction will take three years from awarding, with the C3EX targeted to be completed and operating by 2021. He added that they will pay the cost of right of way (ROW) for national roads within the DPWH domain and will not in any way ask funding from the government.
AC Infra is the Ayala group’s subsidiary in infrastructure while SMIC is the umbrella conglomerate of the Sy family, holding their businesses in retail (SM Retail Inc.), property (SM Prime Holdings Inc.) and banking (BDO Unibank Inc.).