Traveling from North Luzon to Bicol is no easy feat. The journey often takes more than 14 hours even by car, which many find tedious and inconvenient. 

And that’s an issue the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is planning to address through the Luzon Spine Expressway Network. The 1,101-kilometer pathway is expected to shorten travel time from North Luzon to Bicol to just nine hours, more specifically from Ilocos to Bicol.

The expressway will improve on the existing Southroad, making trips lighter and a lot shorter for motorists. 

Photo from DPWH

DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said the network – once finished – will be composed of high-speed expressways such as the Skyway, TPLEx, CLEx, and NLEX Harbor Link, and others.

As a testament to their commitment to fast-tracking the building of pathways in the Bicol Region, DPWH officially opened the Camalig Bypass Road on June 15, which will connect Sorsogon to the municipality of Camalig. 

Camalig Bypass Road / Photo from DPWH

According to Villar, the bypass road will not only hasten travel time between Sorsogon and Camalig but will also provide a safer route for drivers. 

“The completion of Camalig Bypass Road is another proof that we are committed to accomplish our major projects across the country before President Duterte steps down in 2022,” Villar said in a Business Mirror report. 

Last year, the agency also debuted the 5.52-kilometer Sorsogon City Coastal Bypass Road. The four-lane roadway will decongest the heavy traffic in the main thoroughfare of Sorsogon City and will protect nearby areas from storm surge caused by typhoons.

Sorsogon City Coastal Bypass Road  / Photo from DPWH

So far, the DPWH has completed a total of 1,670 kilometers of roads; 295 bridges; 706 flood-mitigation structures; and 8,437 classrooms in the Bicol Region, which were commissioned under the Duterte administration’s Build, Build, Build program.

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Image credit: DPWH