By Bernie cahiles-Magkilat
Traffic at the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) has increased by 573 percent as average daily traffic grew from just 9,302 to 62,643 in 2018.
The 94 kilometers of expressway was implemented by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and NLEX Corporation, formerly the Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC). It also underwent a P2 billion worth of improvement and maintenance works. The management, operations and maintenance of SCTEx was turned over by BCDA to the NLEX Corporation in 2015.
In a statement, BCDA said that since the SCTEx was opened in 2008, the average daily traffic grew by close to 600 percent from just 9,302 to 62,643 in 2018.
The improvements include the NLEX-SCTEx integration in 2016, which reduced toll collection stops and improved travel time of motorists; the expansion of Tipo Toll Plaza and Mabiga interchanges; asphalt overlay covering the full stretch of the SCTEx; and the establishment of two toll service facilities to provide travel convenience.
A new Traffic Control Room was put up, and CCTV systems were installed to improve monitoring of real-time traffic. Also implemented were the installation of Emergency Call Boxes, LED lights, and crash cushions and reflective delineator plates for the safety of motorists.
“SCTEX has opened floodgates of opportunities as the faster and safer travel have encouraged investments and tourism in the region. We can see that industrial centers are booming particularly in Subic, Bataan, and Tarlac because mobility improvements are a come-on for motorists and investors,” NLEX Corp. President Luigi Bautista said.
Central Luzon posted a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 9.3 percent in 2017, almost three percent higher than the country’s GDP of 6.7 percent for the same year.
“Rest assured that we will continue to help in driving growth through our infrastructure developments,” Bautista added.
“Improvements in SCTEx infrastructure and service have proven instrumental in driving growth to the region. Motorists will have an even better travel experience in the coming years with the big projects planned for SCTEx,” said Engr. Joshua Bingcang, BCDA Senior Vice President for Business Development and Operations.
Another P2 billion worth of projects are lined up for SCTEx, including the ongoing construction of the Bamban Interchange, which will connect the expressway to New Clark City in time for the Philippines’ hosting of the 30th South East Asian Games this year.
By next year, NLEX Corp. will finish the expansion of the Clark South, Clark North, Luisita, and Tarlac interchanges to lessen the queuing time in toll plazas. Ease of travel will further be improved with the Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEx) to be completed by the Department of Public Works and Highways by 2020.