By Emmie V. Abadilla
The North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Corporation last year completed over 20 projects in both NLEX and Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), decongesting traffic, enhancing services to motorists and now "welcomes 2019 with optimism."
"This 2019 will be even better for everyone as big-ticket projects are set for completion this year,” according to Rodrigo E. Franco, Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) President and CEO.
MPTC is the holding company of NLEX and SCTEX.
“The year 2018 was a productive year for us. We built more roads to provide travel convenience and establish stronger relationships with our stakeholders.”
The new Mabiga Interchange, Sta. Ines-Magalang Exit, along with the additional lane in San Fernando Northbound Exit are among last year's notable NLEX-SCTEX projects.
NLEX Corporation made Mabiga into a full diamond interchange by building new access ramps with entry and exit toll plazas.
In addition, the company constructed the Sta.Ines-Magalang Exit to provide direct access to local roads in Magalang, Pampanga.
It also added one lane at the San Fernando Northbound Exit which has since prevented traffic bottlenecks especially during rush hours.
Furthermore, the company built a new pedestrian and tricycle overpass in Mapulang Lupa to ease mounting traffic issues at Valenzuela Interchange and improve mobility of commuters coming to and from barangays Paso de Blas and Mapulang Lupa.
To mitigate flooding along the roadway, NLEX Corp. likewise put in drainage enhancements in Balintawak and Meycauayan.
It repaired overpasses, interchange bridges in Sta. Rita and San Simon, including the Candaba Viaduct to boost motorists’ safety.
The tollway firm likewise augmented SCTEX with more features such as LED lights, variable message signs, emergency call boxes, impact attenuators or crash cushions and reflective delineator plates for motorists’ protection and guidance.
It equipped Mindanao Avenue, which has grown to be a busy thoroughfare providing motorists a convenient alternative entry and exit to NLEX, with three new traffic lights to accommodate left-turning vehicles from NLEX going to Valenzuela and provide safer travel to those using the service roads, especially during nighttime.
In 2018, the company has also upgraded the expressway travel experience with digital touches as it assisted in RFID interoperability, designated more electronic payment lanes, and enabled the display of Easytrip balances in all NLEX-SCTEX payment lanes.
Apart from the annual pavement maintenance of the NLEX-SCTEX, road signs meant to inform and remind motorists about certain regulations and directions were improved to maintain visibility and accuracy.
Significantly, the NLEX Corporation addressed environmental concerns by planting bougainvillea saplings at the median area of NLEX spanning 23 kilometers from Burol, Balagtas in Bulacan to San Fernando City in Pampanga.