The COVID-19 pandemic and the strict quarantine measures implemented by the government in the past few months have put nearly all infrastructure projects in the country on hold. Now, that measures have been eased, the work continues once more. Despite the delay, the NLEX Harbor Link has already been opened last June 15.
Very soon, another Build, Build, Build project will also be completed – the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway or better known as TPLEX.
Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar has announced that the entire TPLEX project will be completed by July 15, 2020. Once opened, it will shorten travel time from Manila to La Union from the previous 6 hours to just 3.5 hours.
The TPLEX has been open to the public since November 2013. However, the 88.85-kilometer-long expressway has not been fully completed and currently ends at the town of Pozorrubio in Pangasinan. Once complete, the four-lane expressway will connect Tarlac City in Tarlac, to the Municipality of Rosario in La Union.
Last December, the remaining 4-kilometer Sison-Rosario section of TPLEX was partially opened to the public and helped cut travel time from Metro Manila to Baguio City by 30 minutes. Starting last January 2020, however, it has been closed once more. Next month, the remaining section will finally be open to the public.
In the future, the government and partners from the private sector are planning to extend the TPLEX further north reaching the towns of San Fernando and San Juan in La Union. It will be divided into three-section segments, Rosario to Tubao, Tubao to Naguilian, and Naguilian to San Juan. However, there is no official word as to when the extension will be made.