The expanded section of the 8.2-kilometer Subic Freeport Expressway will be opened temporarily to serve motorists coming in and out of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone during the holiday season.
The new SFEX road, constructed beside the existing SFEX carriageway will be open from December 28 until January 15 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Since the SFEX Capacity Expansion project is still 92 percent complete, it will be closed from 6:01 p.m. to 5:59 a.m. the next day for the continued construction of remaining works.
“While there are still works to be done in some areas, we are temporarily opening the new road to ease the travel of our motorists this holiday season, especially the truckers and merchants who are delivering essential goods,” Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar said.
This project, worth P1.6-billion, entails the conversion of the Subic Freeport Expressway to a 2×2 divided expressway, with the construction of two additional expressway lanes, two new bridges, and a new tunnel.
The DPWH said this will increase the road capacity of SFEX from one lane in each direction to two lanes in each direction.
“The project also includes the installation of expressway-standard LED lights, the raising of elevation of Maritan Highway-Rizal Highway-Tipo Road junction, and the enhancement of the drainage system for better flood management in the area,” it said.
The agency also said that a series of road safety audits showed that the whole project alignment, except for the portion of Jadjad Bridge which is still under construction, has complied with the safety requirements thus safe for use by the motoring public.
SFEX was built when the Philippines hosted the APEC Economic Leaders’ meeting in 1996.
It was then created to cut down the travel time from Hermosa, Bataan to Subic, Zambales from almost one hour to less than 10 minutes.
The capacity expansion, on the other hand, is “envisioned to enhance accessibility to promote travel efficiency and boost Subic’s competitiveness as an ideal shipping gateway for businesses in Central and North Luzon.”
“With the improved and expanded SFEX, the transport of goods in and out of the Subic Freeport will be faster and easier. Night driving will also be equally safe and enjoyable for our motorists,” NLEX Corporation President and General Manager J. Luigi Bautista said. —Rosette Adel