Motorists, commuters, and business owners in San Fernando City can expect greater travel convenience as the NLEX Corporation opens today, November 21, the new and expanded NLEX San Fernando Interchange.
An inaugural drive-thru of the expanded interchange led by Pampanga 2nd District Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, 3rd District Congressman Aurelio Gonzales, Jr. Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda, San Fernando City Vice Mayor Jimmy Lazatin, Department of Public Works and Highways Regional Director Antonio Molano Jr., Pampanga Chamber of Commerce Chairman Emeritus Levy Laus and Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation and NLEX Corporation President and CEO Rodrigo Franco marked the opening of the improved infrastructure that will decongest the area and help further accelerate the growth of trade and commerce in Pampanga’s capital city.
The NLEX Corporation enhanced the capacity of the San Fernando Interchange to ease mounting traffic issues within the vicinity of SM San Fernando and Robinsons Malls and to match the progress in one of the busiest tollway interchanges. Two new bridges crossing the NLEX were built to function as separate carriageways and the interchange ramps were widened to four lanes in each direction. The east and west roundabouts along Jose Abad Santos Avenue were also removed to pave way for the installation of automated traffic signals.
“We undertook these traffic enhancements in our infrastructure to keep up with the fast-paced developments and heightened economic activities in San Fernando,” said Franco.
“With these improvements, the new and expanded interchange is seen to facilitate efficient mobility of people and goods to and from San Fernando and nearby areas,” he added.
Also part of NLEX Corporation’s effort to improve traffic flow and spur business growth in Pampanga is the ongoing construction of the new Mabiga Interchange in Mabalacat, City. This new interchange will soon serve as a full diamond interchange that will improve access of motorists between SCTEX and MacArthur Highway. New on and off ramps with entry and exit toll plazas are also under construction.
Meanwhile, the Sta. Ines Interchange also in Mabalacat City is also being expanded to accommodate increasing traffic growth. NLEX Corporation is constructing a new right-turning ramp in the direction of the Mabalacat-Magalang Road and improve access to the SCTEX.
Along the San Simon interchange, the main bridge is undergoing retrofitting as part of NLEX’s bid to ensure safety of motorists. Built in 1970s, the bridge needs repair to improve strength and durability.
Another project that is set to boost Pampanga’s development is the NLEX Phase 3. Currently undergoing final engineering is NLEX Phase 3 which is envisioned to be a 37-kilometer, 4-lane divided expressway from Sto. Tomas, Pampanga to Dinalupihan, Bataan.
Traffic impact studies are also in the works to decongest San Simon and Angeles interchanges.
Earlier this year, the NLEX Corporation fully opened to the public the 64 lane kilometers of new expressway lanes between the Sta. Rita to San Fernando and Dau to Sta. Ines portions of the NLEX which have since improved travel time and safer travel in Bulacan and Pampanga.