Malolos City—NLEX Corp., the operator of the North Luzon Expressway and Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway, continues to conduct systematic repairs, upgrading and capacity expansion to ensure safe, reliable and seamless travel for the motoring public.
After rushing repair works on cracks and deformations on road pavements caused by the recent earthquakes that hit the Porac and Floridablanca portions of SCTEX in Pampanga, NLEX Corp. engineers are now focused on capacity expansion works.
Due to start in July is the construction of 20 additional lanes in various toll plazas along SCTEX, including vital construction at the Subic Freeport Expressway.
The additional toll plazas at SCTEX is aimed at improving the customer processing time at exit and entrance booths, the company said in a statement.
The toll plaza capacity expansion project, which is expected to be completed by November this year, covers Clark North, Clark South, San Miguel, Bamban, and Tarlac toll plazas.
One new toll lane each will be built in Clark North entry/exit and Clark South B exit. Two new toll lanes each will be added at Clark South A exit and Tarlac entry/exit to serve the growing number of motorists traveling in these areas.
NLEX Corp. will further increase the service capacity of San Miguel (Luisita) entry/exit plaza and convert it to a full interchange. This means that San Miguel will be more accessible to motorists, as those coming to and from San Miguel will now have complete entry and exit points from both northbound and southbound directions.
Meanwhile, two lanes each will be constructed at San Miguel northbound entry and southbound exit and another toll lane will be added to the northbound exit.
The soon-to-open Bamban Interchange will likewise have three entry and three exit lanes. The new interchange will become the direct connection to New Clark City, the main venue for this year’s Southeast Asian Games.
Luigi Bautista, president and general manager of NLEX Corporation, said “the additional toll lanes will help improve SCTEX’s connectivity in its areas, particularly in Clark, which is being positioned as Asia’s next aerotropolis and investment center.”
The new lanes aim to enable speedy toll transactions even during peak hours and holidays when traffic volume on the expressway rises sharply.
In previous years, the NLEX Corporation, together with the Bases Conversion and Development Authority, implemented several enhancement projects along SCTEX’s 94-kilometer stretch. These projects include the NLEX-SCTEX electronic toll collection integration, the expansion of Tipo Toll Plaza and the Mabiga Interchange.
CCTV System, LED lights, emergency call boxes, crash cushions, and reflective delineator plates were also installed at the expressway to enhance the safety of motorists. A new traffic control room was also built in Dolores, Mabalacat City to track real-time traffic at SCTEX.
The NLEX and SCTEX are safe for expressway users despite some pavement cracks observed in bridge approaches along SCTEX, following the 6.1-magnitude earthquake that seriously affected Pampanga and other parts of Central Luzon last April 22.
Meanwhile, post-earthquake assessment results conducted by NLEX Corp. and its engineering consultant AMH Philippines, showed there was no major structural damage found in NLEX-SCTEX bridges and slopes following the temblor, except for cracks and deformations on pavements and bridge expansion joints that were immediately repaired and are now 100% safe for expressway users.
NLEX and SCTEX bridges performed and behaved well and the cracks and deformations caused by the quake were all within anticipated range of structural-design assumptions. Comprehensive repairs have already been accomplished to ensure the riding comfort of motorists.
Repaired were four bridges in SCTEX Porac (Pasig-Potrero, Babo Pangulo, Planas, and Porac) and two bridges in SCTEX Floridablanca (Caulaman and Gumain) that sustained minor pavement cracks while steel plates and expansion joints that became uneven were now levelled.
“Our Quick Response Teams are on 24-hour stand-by mode and ready to immediately assist motorists to assure the safety of the public plying our expressways,” Bautista noted.
New expressway lanes, bridges, and tunnel will also be constructed at the Subic Freeport Expressway as the NLEX Corporation and Sta. Clara International Corporation recently signed the agreement for the P1.6-billion SFEX Capacity Expansion Project.
The project ― which involves the construction of two additional expressway lanes, two new bridges at Jadjad and Argonaut, and a tunnel ― aims to better accommodate the growing number of vehicles going in and out of the Subic Bay Freeport.
In addition, expressway-standard LED lights will be installed to keep the SFEX safe and convenient for motorists, particularly for those driving at night.
The SFEX Capacity Expansion is seen to improve traffic in the area and promote road safety as the new lanes will segregate northbound and southbound motorists along separate carriageways. It will also complement the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority’s infrastructure development program which includes the improvement of airport and seaport, the widening of roads, and the construction of an SBMA Corporate Center.
Bautista said their structures, including those elevated ones, were designed and built in such a way that they do not collapse during an earthquake. He also stressed that the NLEX Harbor Link Segment 10, the elevated expressway from Karuhatan, Valenzuela City to Caloocan Interchange in C3, Caloocan City, is earthquake-resistant and can withstand high magnitude quakes.
“Rest assured that our roads adhere to world-class standards as we use top grade materials and undertake regular road condition surveys,” he added.