SLEX-TR4 (Photos provided by San Miguel Corporation) 

Food and infrastructure giant San Miguel Corp. said it was fast-tracking work on the South Luzon Expressway Tollroad-4 (SLEX-TR4) project, which will extend the tollway from Sto. Tomas, Batangas to Lucena City in Quezon province, despite pandemic restrictions and unsettled right-of-way issues.

In a statement, San Miguel said the 66.74-kilometer road project would boost the Southern Tagalog region, and contribute to the country’s pandemic recovery efforts.

“We are in the initial stages of construction for SLEX-TR4, but despite the limitations of the pandemic and delays in right-of-way acquisitions, we’re moving forward and making good progress,” San Miguel President Ramon Ang said.

Ang said the SLEX-TR4 project would be San Miguel’s longest expressway project, next to the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX).

“As with any project of this size, acquiring all the necessary rights-of-way is the primary challenge. While we anticipated that it [would] take some time, it also doesn’t mean we don’t do anything. We are using the same strategy we utilized for our Skyway 3 project–which is to concentrate work on all workable areas–and then adjust as other areas become available,” Ang said.

Work on the SLEX-TR4 project, which started in 2019, is already at Section B in Alaminos, Laguna and Section C in Tiaong, Quezon, near the Hacienda Escudero area.

Section B consists of the PNR underpass, Koquinkona bridge, and Maharlika underpass, all parallel to the Alaminos-Tiaong Bypass road. There is also an ongoing pipe-laying for the drainage, as well as embankment works, San Miguel said.

Section C consists of construction work on the Tiaong bridge, Tiaong underpass, and Dolores bridge. Drainage and embankment works are also underway, the company said. Jamie Louise Jimeno