Capacity expansion of the 8.2-kilometer Subic Freeport Expressway (SFEX) to improve traffic safety and ease travel time to and from the Subic Bay Freeport Zone is going full blast, according to concessionaire NLEX Corporation.
The SFEX capacity expansion, which broke ground on September 12, entails the construction of two additional expressway lanes, two new bridges at Jadjad and Argonaut, and a new tunnel. NLEX Corp. said this project will increase road capacity from one lane in each direction to two lanes per direction.
The new bridges and tunnel will be constructed parallel to the existing ones. The new tunnel will resemble a horseshoe to provide structural stability against earth pressure.
Also included in the P1.6-billion project are installation of expressway-standard LED lights to improve motorists’ visibility at night; raising of the Maritan Highway-Rizal Highway-Tipo Road junction; and enhancement of the drainage system to alleviate flooding in the area.
“One of the key drivers of economic growth is a network of high-quality roads. The NLEX Corporation through NLEX, SCTEX, and the soon-to-be expanded SFEX not only intends to accelerate development, but also hopes to encourage travel convenience and road safety,” NLEX Corp. president and general manager Luigi L. Bautista said in a statement.
Targeted for completion by September 2020, the SFEX capacity expansion is seen to enhance accessibility and promote travel efficiency on this key road that connects Bataan and Zambales. It is also expected to boost Subic’s competitiveness in the trade and tourism industries.
“The project will help sustain Subic’s position as a globally competitive trade and tourism hub,” Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority chairman and administrator Wilma T. Eisma said, adding that “this road expansion will complement SBMA’s infrastructure development program and promotion of Subic as an ideal shipping gateway for businesses in Central and North Luzon.”
Following the groundbreaking ceremony, a ceremonial tree planting was held as NLEX Corp. commits to plant more trees to replace those affected by the ongoing road project.
“Environmental awareness has always been part of our sustainable development strategy that is why we will conduct tree planting activities in the coming months to help reduce carbon emissions and contribute to cleaner air and healthier ecology along the SFEX,” Bautista explained.
The NLEX Corp. is a subsidiary of the Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation, the tollways unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp.