The P1.6-billion Subic Freeport Expressway (SFEX) Capacity Expansion is well underway to further ease travel in and out of the Subic Bay Freeport, the NLEX Corporation and Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) announced.

Two new expressway lanes including a tunnel and two bridges in Jadjad and Argonaut are being constructed at the 8-kilometer SFEX to accommodate the growing number of traffic and promote road safety. Eventually, expressway-standard LED lights will be installed to keep the expressway safer for motorists, particularly for those driving at night.

“Our company believes that good infrastructure is necessary to expedite delivery of products and boost tourism. These SFEX improvements, which are expected to be completed by September 2020, all aimed at supporting trade and commerce in Subic and enhancing the travel experience of our motorists,” said NLEX Corporation President and General Manager Luigi L. Bautista.

For SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma, “this project will be instrumental in sustaining Subic’s position as a prime business and leisure hub as well as helping complement our infrastructure development program, which includes widening of Freeport roads and improvement of our airport, seaport, and other logistics facilities.”

Aside from improving the road capacity, the project also involves raising the Maritan Highway-Rizal Highway-Tipo Road junction and enhancing the drainage system to help alleviate flooding in the area. This part of the project will be done in two phases, with the first phase expected to be completed by October 2019, in time for Subic’s hosting of 16 sports in the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in November.

To proceed with the road raising and flood control works, one bound of the Maritan-Rizal-Tipo junction has been closed to traffic since July 13 and motorists are being diverted to alternate routes along the Causeway Road and the Argonaut-Kalayaan Access Road.

The SBMA and NLEX appeal for understanding and patience of the public because just like other road projects, they may experience temporary traffic delays and expect small inconveniences such as dust and noise during construction.

Bautista pointed out that “while there will be occasional lane closures for the entire project duration, SFEX will remain passable to all types of vehicles as most construction activities will be done at the roadside.”

“We’d like to assure everyone that together with SBMA and our contractor, we are doing everything possible to finish as scheduled, lessen the disturbances caused by the construction, and more importantly ensure utmost public safety and comfort,” he said.

“This would exact some toll on the quality of work and leisure environment in Subic, as we have several infrastructure projects going on at the same time. But bear in mind that these are investments for a better future,” Eisma added.

Traversing the provinces of Zambales and Bataan, SFEX runs from Rizal Highway in Subic going towards the former Naval Exchange and Argonaut Highway and ends in Hermosa, Bataan where there is a toll plaza leading to the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX).