The Department of Public Works and Highways aims to cut travel time from Ilocos to Bicol to just 9 hours, and this vision will be made possible through the Luzon Spine Expressway Network (LSEN) Program, a massive road network that should seamlessly connect the northern and southern parts of Luzon.
Earlier this March, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar, shared some updates regarding the following roads under the LSEN program. Construction of the new major road started in March 2019, which is about two year from now. According to the government agency, Package B is 2.58% done and Package C is at 30.61%. Furthermore, they also mentioned that the right-of-way acquisition for SLEX-TR4, one of the biggest roads in the country, is also ongoing.
The main roads of the LSEN comprises of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), Skyway Stages 1 to 3, the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), and the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX).
Now, what will happen is that the SLEX-TR4 will be connected to SLEX-TR5, a four-lane toll road with eight segments that spans by about 416.48 km. While construction on this one is yet to commence, the road shall start at Lucena City in Quezon and will then stretch all the way to Matnog in Sorsogon.
On the other hand, the 15.21 km, four-lane road Camarines Sur Expressway will also be part of this network. The southernmost road will connect the municipalities of San Fernando and Pili. Currently, it is 15% complete, with the DPWH estimated the project to be accomplished beyond 2022.
While the agency didn’t disclose the current progress of the entire LSEN project, the soon-to-be-accomplished road network is set to improve the usual travel time Ilocos to Bicol by 9 hours. That's a big step over the usual 20 hours trip.