MANILA, Philippines – The completion of the P24-billion ($536.47-million*) Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union (TPLEX) expressway is on track, Private Infra Development Corp. (PIDC), a unit of diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corporation (SMC) said Friday, December 19.
The toll operator is opening the 13.66-kilometer (km) segment from Rosales to Urdaneta in Pangasinan on Saturday, December 20 to help ease traffic flow to and from northern Luzon, especially this holiday season, PIDC president Mark Dumol said in a statement.
“Many families will be traveling to and from northern Luzon during the holidays, and this is our company’s Christmas present to them,” Dumol said.
He added the opening of the segment is also expected to help ease traveling to Manila during Pope Francis’ visit from January 15 to 19.
“Construction of TPLEX is well on track and while we still have to make a few more refinements, it is safe to use. We are opening early as service to the public,” Dumol said.
He added that users could use the toll road free of charge until January 20.
With the new section’s opening, the total length of the 4-lane, 88.5-km TPLEX now operational is about 63-km long.
The TPLEX is eyed to be a vital road project in Luzon, connecting the central and northern Luzon provinces to Manila and beyond through the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway and the North Luzon Expressway.
TPLEX will traverse end-to-end 17 towns and two cities (Tarlac and Urdaneta City) across 4 provinces: Tarlac, Pangasinan, La Union, and Nueva Ecija.
The TPLEX under a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) program is undertaken by the all-Filipino consortium, including the Consunji-led DMCI Holdings Inc.
When TPLEX inaugurated the Tarlac City-Gerona-Paniqui section of the expressway by President Benigno Aquino III last year, he thanked SMC President and CEO Ramon Ang “for an early Christmas gift to commuters,” especially his fellow Tarlaqueños. – Rappler.com
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