San Miguel Corp.-backed Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEx) opened a new section in Pangasinan yesterday, bringing it closer to full completion by mid-2019.
This followed the issuance of a toll operation permit by the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) to TPLEx operator Philippine Infrastructure Development Corp., which is controlled by SMC, for the segment between Binalonan to Pozorrubio, Pangasinan.
This is part of a 10-kilometer segment that is considered the second to the last phase of the TPLEx project, which is due for completion in June 2019.
The TPLEx would span over 89 kilometers once completed. It would cut travel time between Tarlac province and Rosario, La Union, from 3.5 hours to 1 hour, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said in its website. It would also benefit an estimated 20,000 vehicles per day.
The toll operation permit was issued by the TRB on Nov. 29. This followed a joint inspection between the TRB and DWPH, which confirmed the new section of TPLEx was “substantially complete and is safe to be operated commercially.”
The TPLEx is part of SMC’s growing tollroad footprint in the Philippines.
Earlier this year, it announced an agreement with state-run Philippine National Construction Corp. to jointly expand several such projects, valued at a combined P554 billion.
These include the expansion of its tollroads such as the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx), Metro Manila Skyway, Star Tollway and Naia Expressway.
Included in the pipeline were the San Pedro-C6 Laguna Lake Road, Tanauan-Tagaytay Expressway or Sky 8, the extension of SLEx to Matnog, Sorsogon, Sky 7 linking Taguig to Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City, the Buendia Interchange and ramp extension to Macapagal Boulevard, and the Sky 9 “Pasig River alignment”.
SMC also proposed to extend the Naia Expressway to Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.
It noted that complete detailed engineering plans for the expansion of the 7.7-km NAIAx project going to BGC had been submitted to the government.
SMC said the project would decongest Magallanes and the Edsa-Pasay area. The extension aims to cut travel time between Coastal Road/SM Mall of Asia areas and BGC to just 10 minutes.