NLEX: Continues Seamless Journey through 2019
OnPatrolPH by Ricky Velasco/Clift Daluz
The NLEX Corporation ends 2018 on a positive note, with the completion of more than 20 projects in both NLEX and SCTEX aimed at decongesting traffic and enhancing services to motorists.
“2018 was a productive year for us as we were able to build more roads that helped us provide travel convenience and establish stronger relationships with our stakeholders,” assessed Rodrigo E. Franco, Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) President and CEO as he also welcomed 2019 with optimism.
MPTC is the holding company of NLEX and SCTEX.
Looking back to the year that was, Franco said that among the notable NLEX-SCTEX projects accomplished in 2018 are the new Mabiga Interchange, Sta. Ines-Magalang Exit, and the additional lane in San Fernando Northbound Exit.
The NLEX Corporation has made the Mabiga into a full diamond interchange by building new access ramps with entry and exit toll plazas and constructed the Sta.Ines-Magalang Exit to provide direct access to local roads in Magalang, Pampanga. It also added one lane at the San Fernando Northbound Exit which has since prevented traffic bottlenecks especially during rush hours.
A new pedestrian and tricycle overpass in Mapulang Lupa was built to ease mounting traffic issues at Valenzuela Interchange and improve mobility of commuters coming to and from barangays Paso de Blas and Mapulang Lupa.
To mitigate flooding along the roadway, drainage enhancements were undertaken in Balintawak and Meycauayan. Overpasses, interchange bridges in Sta. Rita and San Simon, including the Candaba Viaduct were repaired to boost motorists’ safety.
The tollway company also augmented SCTEX with more features such as LED lights, variable message signs, emergency call boxes, impact attenuators or crash cushions and reflective delineator plates for motorists’ protection and guidance.
The Mindanao Avenue, which has grown to be a busy thoroughfare and has provided motorists a convenient alternative entry and exit to NLEX, was equipped with three new traffic lights to accommodate left-turning vehicles from NLEX going to Valenzuela and provide safer travel to those bound for the service roads, especially during nighttime.
In 2018, the company has also upgraded the expressway travel experience with digital touches as it assisted in RFID interoperability, designated more electronic payment lanes, and enabled the display of Easytrip balances in all NLEX-SCTEX payment lanes.
Apart from the annual pavement maintenance of the NLEX-SCTEX, road signs meant to inform and remind motorists about certain regulations and directions were improved to maintain visibility and accuracy.
The NLEX Corporation likewise addressed environmental concerns by planting bougainvillea saplings at the median area of NLEX spanning 23 kilometers from Burol, Balagtas in Bulacan to San Fernando City in Pampanga.
“Continuous improvement, whether in infrastructure or service, has been and will always be our focus. 2019 will be even better for everyone as big-ticket projects are set for completion this year,” Franco noted.
Among the projects Franco is referring to are the additional toll lanes in San Fernando, Mexico, and Angeles; the expanded connecting ramps of NLEX-SCTEX; the new NLEX Drive & Dine service facility; and the highly anticipated elevated expressway—the NLEX Harbor Link Segment 10 that is designed to provide direct access between the Manila Port and the northern provinces of Luzon via NLEX.