SUBIC FREEPORT -- The NLEX Corporation is going full blast with the capacity expansion of the 8.2-kilometer Subic Freeport Expressway (SFEX) aimed at improving traffic safety and easing travel time to and from this Freeport.
NLEX Corporation President and General Manager Luigi Bautista, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman and Administrator Wilma Eisma, Zambales 1st District Representative Jeffrey Konghun, Board Member Reinhard Jeresano, Hermosa, Bataan Mayor Antonio Joseph Inton, and Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) Executive Director Abraham Sales led the groundbreaking ceremony Thursday, September 12.
The SFEX Capacity Expansion includes construction of two additional expressway lanes, two new bridges at Jadjad and Argonaut, and a new tunnel. This will increase road capacity from one lane in each direction to two lanes in each direction.
The new bridges and a tunnel will be constructed parallel to the existing ones. The new tunnel resembles a horseshoe that will provide structural stability against earth pressure.
Also included in the P1.6-billion project are the installation of expressway-standard LED lights as part of the tollway company’s efforts to improve motorists’ visibility when driving at night; the raising of Maritan Highway-Rizal Highway-Tipo Road junction; and the enhancement of the drainage system to help 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,” Bautista said.
The SFEX Capacity Expansion, which will be completed in September 2020, is seen to enhance accessibility and promote travel efficiency on this key road that connects Bataan and Zambales.
The vital project is also expected to boost Subic’s competitiveness in trade and tourism industries.
Eisma said the project will help sustain Subic’s position as a globally competitive trade and tourism hub.
“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,” Eisma said.
Konghun said he believes that improvements in the road network will significantly benefit the province of Zambales.
“Because of the smoother and easier travel that this project will bring, our province will be more viable for local and foreign investments,” Konghun added.
Following the groundbreaking ceremony, a ceremonial tree planting was also held to signify NLEX Corporation’s commitment to plant more trees in its bid 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 said.
The NLEX Corporation is a subsidiary of the Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation, the tollways unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp.