The Subic Freeport Expressway (SFEX) will be temporarily opened to the public until middle of January next year, so that motorists can use it during the holiday season.
The opening of the new and expanded section of the 8.2-kilometer road project, opened starting today (December 28), was led by Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar along with Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman and Administrator Wilma Eisma and NLEX Corporation President and General Manager J. Luigi Bautista.
However, the road can only be used December 28, 2020 until January 15, 2021 from 6AM-6PM and will be closed from 6:01PM to 5:59 AM the next day to resume construction.
NLEX Corporation stated in their release 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.”
According to Villar, the said road project is now 92-percent complete.
“The project is 92 percent complete. 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,” Villar said.
It was in late November when Villar mentioned that the project is at 85 percent completion, following their inspection.
Expected to improve traffic flow and road safety, the SFEX road project was made beside the existing SFEX carriageway. Also covered in the P1.6-billion SFEX Capacity Expansion is the conversion of the SFEX to a 2x2 divided expressway, with the construction of two additional expressway lanes, two new bridges, and a new tunnel.
Aside from that, the expressway will be equipped with expressway-standard LED lights as well as the elevation of Maritan Highway-Rizal Highway-Tipo Road junction together with the enhancement of the drainage system for better flood management in the area.
Serving as connector road to Bataan and Zambales, SFEX Capacity Expansion is envisioned to enhance accessibility and promote travel efficiency and could also bolster 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,” Bautista was quoted as saying.
The SFEX was made after Philippines was chosen to host the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in 1996.
Earlier, the NLEX Corporation announced the rescheduled target completion to the end of this year—an extension of at least three months from its initial schedule set back in 2019.
Photos from NLEX Corporation