Subic expressway expansion 85% complete

PROJECT involves construction of new tunnel as ‘vital link’ — BW FILE PHOTO

NLEX CORP. said on Thursday its P1.6-billion Subic Freeport Expressway (SFEX) Capacity Expansion Project is now 85% complete.

“Now 85% complete, the capacity expansion of the 8.2-kilometer SFEX is aimed at improving traffic safety and easing travel to and from the Subic Bay Freeport Zone,” NLEX Corp. said in an e-mailed statement.

Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark A. Villar recently led the progress inspection of the project, which is expected to be fully completed by the first quarter of 2021, the company said.

The project involves the construction of a new tunnel that is seen to serve as a “vital link on this key road that connects Bataan and Zambales,” the company added.

New bridges are also being built. The objective is to “increase road capacity from one lane in each direction to two lanes,” NLEX Corp. said. LED lights are being installed to improve motorists’ visibility when driving at night, it added.

“The SFEX Capacity Expansion is seen to expedite the delivery of goods, support trade and tourism in Subic, and complement Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority’s infrastructure development,” the company noted.

The company said recently that it had partnered with the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority to include in the project scope “the raising of elevation of the Maritan Highway-Rizal and Highway-Tipo Road Junction and enhancing its drainage system to improve flood management in the area.”

NLEX Corp. is a unit of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. Its parent Metro Pacific Investments Corp. is one of three key Philippine units of Hong Kong’s First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT, Inc.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Arjay L. Balinbin

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