Subic expressway expansion eyed this year
Despite the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic to construction activities, NLEX Corp. still aims to complete the P1.6-billion Subic Freeport Expressway (SFEx) capacity expansion project within this year.
“We are still targeting to complete the SFEx expansion this year although January will be the late finish,” NLEX Corp. Senior Vice-President for Communication Romulo S. Quimbo. He added that the project is now “about 40% complete.”
The company started the expansion project in September last year.
The project involves the construction of two additional lanes, two new bridges at Jadjad and Argonaut, and a new tunnel on the 8.2-kilometer toll road.
Public and private construction projects have been allowed to resume under the modified enhanced community quarantine, but workers must be housed and fed onsite and observe physical distancing rules, among other requirements for construction work during the pandemic.
Public Works Secretary Mark A. Villar’s Department Order 35 sets rules for carrying out infrastructure projects during the coronavirus pandemic.
NLEX Corp. expects the transport of goods in and out of the Subic Freeport to be faster and simpler once it fully completes the project.
Subic is home to the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, a special economic zone that facilitates trade in Central and North Luzon through shipping.
The SFEx expansion is also expected to make Subic a more viable tourist and investment destination because of improved connectivity.
NLEX Corp. is under Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., the tollways unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp., one of three key Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT Inc.