Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) is embarking on major expansion and enhancement projects for its three expressways—North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), and Cavite Expressway (Cavitex).
Construction of the 2.6-kilometer (km) NLEX Harbor Link Segment 10 C3-R10 Section, which stretches from new Caloocan Interchange along 5th Avenue/C3 Road, Caloocan City to Radial Road 10 (R-10), Navotas City is currently at 45%, MPTC said in a statement.
When the segment is completed, the transport logistics sectors will greatly benefit from the direct access to NLEX from the R-10 and vice-versa, MPTC said.
NLEX Corporation, the MPTC unit handling NLEX and SCTEX, is also expanding the capacity of the 8.2-km Subic Freeport Expressway (SFEX) to better accommodate the growing number of motorists traveling to Subic Bay Freeport. It is also undertaking initial works for the 8-km NLEX Connector to extend the NLEX southward from the end of NLEX Harbor Link Segment 10 on C3/5th Avenue, Caloocan City to Polytechnic University of the Philippines Sta. Mesa, Manila.
Meanwhile, the new Tambubong Interchange in Bocaue, Bulacan is being finished and is set to open in November. It will serve as an alternative access for motorists coming from NLEX going to Bocaue, Sta. Maria, Pandi, and Norzagaray and vice versa, bypassing the usual heavy traffic situation at Bocaue Interchange.
NLEX Corp. is also bolstering the service capacity of Clark South, Clark North, San Miguel, and Tarlac toll plazas by adding new lanes to further improve customer processing time at SCTEX.
Over to the south, MPCALA Holdings, Inc., a unit under MPTC’s mother firm Metro Pacific Holdings, Inc., is set to complete by the end of the month the first three sections of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) from Mamplasan to Sta. Rosa, Laguna. Once the entire 45-km alignment is completed, traffic congestion on Governor’s Drive, Aguinaldo Highway and Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Road is expected to ease.
Second-phase enhancements at Cavitex, which include widening of bridges in Parañaque, Las Piñas, and Wawa, are targeted for completion in May next year. Work on the remaining 5.5-km segment of the Cavitex C5 Link Expressway is also scheduled to start this November.
Aside from infrastructure improvements, MPTC said its expressways are also undertaking innovations to boost customer experience. Just recently, 11 more exclusive RFID lanes were made available on NLEX, six of which are located at Bocaue Barrier and five at Balintawak Barrier, increasing the total number of exclusive electronic toll collection lanes to 40.
Since October 15, EasyTrip RFID drive-thru reloading lanes have been opened for Class 1 or light vehicles at lane NO4 in Balintawak and lane X06 in Bocaue, from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Meanwhile, additional variable message signs providing useful and updated traffic information will be installed by November this year along NLEX Bocaue southbound, and Pulilan northbound and southbound.
In preparation for the expected 10% increase in traffic volume for the Undas season, MPTC is again implementing “Safe Trip Mo Sagot Ko” (SMSK) along NLEX, SCTEX, and Cavitex to enhance traffic management and toll collection services.
From October 25 to November 4, NLEX-SCTEX traffic operations personnel will closely monitor and manage the anticipated influx of motorists at Balintawak, Mindanao Avenue, Bocaue, Sta. Ines, Tarlac, and Tipo toll plazas.
Additional patrol and incident response teams will be fielded in strategic areas to immediately assist motorists. Speed and lane management teams will also be on heightened alert to enforce traffic discipline for road safety.
In the peak periods of October 26, 27, 28, 30, and 31, and November 1, and 2, the Balintawak Toll Plaza will open up to 24 toll collection points while Mindanao Avenue, Tarlac, and Tipo toll plazas will open up to 10, 15, and six toll collection points, respectively, to lessen motorist waiting time at the toll plazas.
From November 1 to 4, the Bocaue Toll Barrier will have a maximum of 55 collection points for Manila-bound motorists. Toll tellers at the Tarlac Toll Plaza will be ready to issue pre-encoded transit tickets to motorists for faster transactions.
During the same period, Cavitex will deploy more patrol teams to manage traffic and assist motorists.
Construction along the mainline road of the three expressways will be suspended from October 24 to November 4, unless safety repairs are necessary.
MPTC and its partners will also set up SMSK Motorist Camps and provide free calls, Wi-Fi, drinking water, basic mechanic services and first-aid treatment at designated locations along the expressways.
The SMSK will also offer 24-hour free towing services to the nearest exit for Class 1 vehicles from October 30 starting 6:00 a.m. to November 4 up to 6:00 a.m.