The new and expanded section of the 8.2-km Subic Freeport Expressway (SFEX) will remain open to motorists from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. until its full completion next month.

Last month, NLEX Corporation initially announced that the new SFEX carriageway will only be open for the holidays until this Friday, January 15, 2021 to give way to the construction of the remaining works.

However, further assessment showed that the new road can stay open while construction contnues in some areas, including a portion of Jadjad Bridge.

Keeping the new SFEX road open will make it convenient for motorists already using the new expressway and for those traveling to and from the Subic area.

The P1.6-billion SFEX Capacity Expansion project will increase the road capacity of SFEX from one lane in each direction to two lanes in each direction with the construction of two additional lanes, bridges, and a new tunnel.

“We are keeping the new SFEX road partially open to the motoring public up to its target completion in February,” declared Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark A. Villar.

“With this, we can continue providing faster and safer access to and from Subic especially for businesses and logistics companies operating in the area as well for tourists,” he added.

The new SFEX also intends to improve traffic safety, provide additional road capacity, and reduce travel time to and from Subic Bay Freeport.

NLEX Corp. is intalling expressway-standard LED lights, raising the elevation of Maritan Highway-Rizal Highway-Tipo Road junction and enhancing the drainage system.

“We have met necessary safety requirements in keeping the SFEX open while construction works are ongoing,” NLEX Corporation President and General Manager J. Luigi L. Bautista underscored.

“This will further help improve mobility as businesses in the Subic Bay Freeport are coming back on track from adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic,” he noted.

“The move to continuously open the new lanes is very timely as it will ease the movement of people and goods in the Freeport and further develop Subic’s business and tourism prospects,” Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma acquisced.

Already, the new SFEX has served more than 95,000 motorists from December 28, 2020 to January 11, 2021,.

The SFEX Capacity Expansion, once completed, will spur economic growth, not just in Subic, but in the entire region as well.

Source: Manila Bulletin (