If you're planning a trip to Subic Bay soon, your drive will be a lot faster. Today, February 19, 2021, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and NLEX Corporation completed the construction of the Subic Freeport Expressway (SFEX). What makes this announcement significant is the fact that it was completed despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“We continued the construction of the new expressway despite the challenges posed by the pandemic and the stringent health protocols. The construction project also provided jobs and supported the livelihood of our people. It was also our way of helping our countrymen manage the economic impact of the health crisis. MPTC and NLEX continue to stand with the government in its commitment to improve the lives of Filipinos through infrastructure projects such as this,” said NLEX Corp. President Bautista.
“This fresh Metro Pacific Tollways infrastructure investment will improve mobility, accelerate the country’s economic recovery and more importantly, support the logistics and supply chain we urgently need. Around 10,000 motorists daily will benefit from this new road,” said Mark Villar, Secretary of the DPWH.
Prior to that, SFEX did a partial opening back last December 28, 2020. The road was only accessible to motorists from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM. After 6:00 PM, it was meant to be closed in order to complete construction until January 15, 2021. However, NLEX Corporation and the DPWH decided to keep SFEX open beyond the mentioned date. At the time, the DPWH said that the project will be complete by February. It looks like the agency kept its word with today's full opening.
The PHP 1.6 billion expressway project is a response to the need to accelerate business activities and facilitate the flow of goods and services between the economic zones in Clark and Subic. SFEX now has two additional lanes, a tunnel, and two bridges in Jadjad and Argonaut in order to accommodate the growing number of traffic and improve road safety. NLEX Corp. also installed international standard LED lights, raised the elevation of the Maritan Highway-Rizal Highway-Tipo Road junction, and enhanced the area’s drainage system.
With SFEX ready to serve the public 24/7, NLEX Corporation has two more projects for completion. These are the NLEX Connector and the Candaba Viaduct Upgrade. Both are slated for completion this year.