San Miguel unit opens new 26-km segment on April 16
By Paolo G. Montecillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Motorists going up north this Holy Week are in for a treat.
Starting April 16, the drive up to Pangasinan will be virtually traffic-free with the opening of a new toll road section from Paniqui in Tarlac to Carmen.
San Miguel Corp.-led Philippine Infrastructure Development Corp. (PIDC) on Saturday announced that a new 26-kilometer segment of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEx) would be opened to traffic this week.
PIDC likewise announced that the entire stretch of TPLEx that would reach Rosales, La Union, would be completed by the end of 2015—three years ahead of schedule.
“It’s almost a miracle to complete (the two segments) that early,” PIDC president Mark Dumol said.
Once the entire highway is completed, travel time from Balintawak to the mountain roads leading to the country’s so-called summer capital Baguio City would be cut to under three hours, Dumol said.
“Once we finish it, a weekend trip to Baguio for Metro Manila residents will be viable,” he said.
This journey would pass through three highways: the North Luzon and Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressways (NLEx and SCTEx) and TPLEx.
The opening of the Paniqui-to-Carmen segment this week would be contingent on the issuance of a toll operations permit by the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB).
The PIDC official said finishing touches on the new segment was being hurried to make it ready in time for the April 16 opening.
This will be first tollroad to reach Pangasinan.
Dumol said once opened, the toll to be charged on the road would be published every week for three weeks.
Once this publication requirement is completed, cars would be charged P170 each to pass through the new TPLEx segment.
TPLEx is one of four tollroads operated by the SMC group.
The others are the Metro Manila Skyway system that currently runs from Makati City to Alabang in Muntinlupa, the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) from Alabang to Calamba, Laguna, and the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (Star) toll from Calamba to Batangas City.