THE tollways arm of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. is investing P2 billion to implement a makeover program for the Subic-Clark Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx), making it at par with its sister, the North Luzon Expressway (Nlex).
The amount will be spread over a period of three years, Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC) President Rodrigo E. Franco said, and will help modernize the expressway.
“After SCTEx was turned over to us last year, we slated several modernization works all aimed at making the SCTEx at par with the Nlex,” he said.
At the top of the list are the recently completed integration of the two thoroughfares which amounted to P758 million, and the ongoing pavement improvement of the SCTEx from 2016 to 2018, which costs P1 billion.
The integration project unified the toll collection systems of the two expressways, thus continually creating a faster and seamless traveling experience for motorists going to and coming from the North.
The integration project also modernized SCTEx’s toll collection system by making available to SCTEx electronic-toll collection through EasyTrip.
The SCTEx pavement repair includes three-year asphalt overlay and road patching of the 94-kilometer expressway to make the SCTEx’s pavement as smooth as that of the Nlex.
Also part of the enhancement program is the installation of modern traffic and telecommunications systems worth P266 million.
Closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras and emergency call boxes are currently being installed along the expressway to ensure the security of motorists. The roadside emergency-call boxes will aid distressed motorists to directly and quickly connect to the SCTEx traffic control room.
The CCTV cameras will enable real-time monitoring of the entire stretch of the expressway which, in turn, will allow expressway teams to respond faster to motorists who may need assistance.
Variable message signs that provide motorists with useful and updated traffic information are being put up along the expressway as well. These signs will be located in Concepcion, Tarlac, and Porac and Floridablanca, Pampanga.
To further guarantee the safety of motorists, high-risk slopes along the expressway are undergoing repair through slope restoration using gabions and geosynthetics reinforcements and adding drainage lines for P22 million.
MNTC has also allotted P47 million in capital expenditures for system and software, traffic devices and facility enhancements.
Toll booths in all SCTEx toll plazas are also up for rehabilitation which will include repainting and replacement of equipment.
“Once these improvements are fully implemented, our motorists can surely expect a smoother and safer travel at SCTEx,” Franco said.
The infrastructure giant is the largest toll-road operator in the Philippines. The conglomerate also has significant shareholdings in expressways in Vietnam and Thailand. (BusinessMirror)