NLEX spending P1.6b to expand toll road in Subic

NLEX Corp. said it is spending P1.6 billion to expand the capacity of Subic Freeport Expressway, or SFEx, amid growing vehicle traffic.

NLEX vice president for project management Nemesio Castillo said SFEx, or the Tipo section of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway to Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, would be expanded by one lane in each direction.

The project is expected to be completed in 16 months starting this month.

Castillo said a new tunnel and two new bridges—Jadjad Bridge and Argonaut Bridge—would also be constructed while expressway-standard LED lights would be installed to keep the expressway safe for motorists, especially for those driving at night.

SFEx, which was constructed in time for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Subic in 1996, is now a part of SCTEx.

NLEX holds the concession to manage, operate and maintain SCTEx, a 93.77-km four-lane highway, traversing the provinces of Bataan, Pampanga and Tarlac.

The management, operation, and maintenance of SCTEX was turned over by BCDA to the NLEX in 2015.

NLEX said last week it allotted P400 million this year to expand the capacity of SCTEX.

The company, which operates SCTEX, said more lanes would be built in Clark South A and South B exits; Clark North entry and exit; San Miguel northbound entry and exit; and Tarlac entry and exit.

NLEX said the construction would start on July 1 this year and be completed by November this year .

The construction of the Bamban Interchange, which will link the expressway to New Clark City, is also ongoing in time for country’s hosting of the Southeast Asian Games.

Data show since the SCTEx was opened in 2008, the average daily traffic grew by close to 600 percent from just 9,302 to 62,643 in 2018.