We try to avoid EDSA because of its horrendous traffic. But then we cannot avoid it entirely because we still had to pass by the Balintawak Cloverleaf to get to the tollgate of the Manila North Tollways.
That was then. Now, with the NLEX-Mindanao Avenue link (promotion flyer in the thumbnail), we could skip EDSA if we want to. At a cost of Php 2.1 billion, the link, also known as Segment 8.1 is 2.7 kilometers long. The full cloverleaf interchange is three times larger in area than that of the Balintawak Cloverleaf.
The first time we took the NLEX-Mindanaou Ave Link was last All Saints' Day 2010. Traditionally, there would be many vehicles trooping to the north on this day and I guessed buses would again be clogging the Balintawak area.
Map and Driving Directions from EDSA
If you're coming from the south at EDSA, going to NLEX, the best route would be to start at the Trinoma mall area. (Click on the image below to enlarge)
Direction and Landmarks from Mindanao Avenue to NLEX Link
- There's a short road coming from EDSA towards North Avenue (shown in red dashed line above) but it appeared closed to traffic when we went there. This is at the side of the Trinoma Mall (written as "TRINOMA" in blue, above) An alternative route is to take a sharp right turn from EDSA to North Avenue at the front of SM North.
- The first traffic light is the interesection of North Avenue and Mindanao Avenue. Turn left at this intersection to Mindanao Avenue. There's a Mcdonald's at this intersection.
- Cruise along Mindanao Avenue. You'll pass by the Veteran's Memorial Hospital at the right and further along, Puregold on the left until you reach Congressional Avenue.
- Continue along Mindanao Avenue. You'll pass by Seaoil on the left and Caltex and Petron on the right until you reach Tandang Sora Avenue.
- Continue along Mindanao Avenue. You'll pass by Jollibee and Honda on the left, 7-11 and Wilcon Depot on the right, until you reach Quirino Highway.
- Mindanao Avenue continues in an underpass. There will be a stretch until you reach the NLEX tollgate (written as "TOLL" in blue, above) where you will pay toll. The tollgate appears in the thumbnail photo at the beginning of this post.
- Continue the long stretch until the road reaches the link (new cloverleaf) at the NLEX.
Quickest Route to the NLEX Mindanao Link from C-5
There are several ways to do this, with C-5 (Circumferential Road 5) being a long road stretching from the South.
- One is to go to the Elliptical Circle (Quezon Memorial Circle) from C-5 and then exit to North Avenue and turn right to Mindanao Avenue.
- Another route is continue C-5 into Katipunan Avenue and then Tandang Sora.
On the way back, take the new cloverleaf at the NLEX Mindanao Ave Link to avoid the Balintawak traffic.
With this new NLEX Mindanao Avenue Link or Segment 8.1, the EDSA stretch from Munoz all the way to the Balintawak Cloverleaf will be declogged from heavy traffic.