MNTC investing P1.5B for SCTEX ‘world-class’ makeover
The Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC) is investing more than P1.5 billion to improve the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) and bring to it all the world-class features of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX).
“While the rehabilitation and modernization of SCTEX will take three years to complete, motorists will already experience the improvements by Holy Week this year,” Rodrigo E. Franco, Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) president and chief executive officer, said. MPTC is the holding company of MNTC.
MNTC, builder and concessionaire of the 93-kilometer NLEX, was awarded the contract to manage, operate and maintain SCTEX late last year by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), the government agency that constructed the expressway. Under the terms of this contract, MNTC will be responsible for the management, toll collection, traffic safety and security, toll road and facilities maintenance, including greening and landscaping, public relations and marketing of SCTEX until 2043.
Traversing the provinces of Bataan, Pampanga and Tarlac, the 94-kilometer SCTEX is linked to the northern tip of NLEX at Sta. Ines, Mabalacat, Pampanga.
“Aside from integrating the two tollways seamlessly, we have lined up a lot of enhancement works for SCTEX,” Franco pointed out. “These include pavement works, construction of new facilities, and the improvement of the toll collection and communications systems.”
In anticipation of the usual surge in traffic volume every Holy Week, MNTC is putting priority on beefing up the safety, comfort, and convenience of motorists on SCTEX.
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 enable distressed motorists to directly and quickly connect to the SCTEX traffic control room. The CCTV cameras, on the other hand, will enable real-time monitoring of the entire stretch of the expressway which, in turn, will allow MNTC teams to respond faster to motorists who may need assistance.
Additional lights and reflectorized strips are also being mounted to guide motorists during the night.
To provide motorists with a more comfortable travel experience, two additional restrooms will be constructed at the SCTEX’s Dolores Exit and Luisita Interchange.
Variable message signs that provide motorists with useful and updated traffic information will be put up along the expressway as well.
NLEX’s modern toll collection system, which makes use of dedicated short-range communication (DSRC) tags, and contactless and magnetic cards, will be made available to SCTEX once the integration of the two expressways is completed. Meanwhile, a three-year asphalt overlay project covering the entire 94-kilometer length of the expressway will eventually make the SCTEX’s pavement as smooth as that of the NLEX.
By Holy Week 2016, some physical barriers currently standing between the two tollways will be removed. Motorists will no longer need to stop at Dau and Mabalacat as these will be converted into pass-through lanes.
Aside from equipping the expressway with world-class facilities, MNTC is also extending to SCTEX the “NLEX Brand of Service” that has friendly and courteous toll tellers and patrolmen as frontliners. In this connection, SCTEX toll tellers and patrolmen assigned in the area are now undergoing reorientation to level up customer service and traffic management in the country’s longest tollway.
“With all the planned improvements for SCTEX, motorists will soon experience a seamless NLEX-SCTEX connection,” Franco said.