Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Friday, December 12, 2008

Clark interchange to open before Christmas

CLARK FREEPORT -- The nearing completion of Panday Pira road that connects to Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) will be an early Christmas treat for motorists.

Officials of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), builder of the 94-kilometer SCTEx, told a press conference Thursday that the opening of the Panday Pira stretch would pave the way for the full operation of the Clark North Interchange.

The 3.8-kilometer long road serves as the main access to Clark for motorists coming from the towns of Tarlac and Mabalacat. According to Gen. Robert Gervacio, BCDA spokesperson, the road is already 66.10 percent complete.

"The Clark North Interchange could be accessed through the Panday Pira Road just before Christmas day," Gervacio told reporters during the briefing.

Along with the Clark North Interchange, Gervacio said construction and developments are also being done on the Floridablanca and Porac Interchanges in the north of the province.

The three interchanges, reportedly constructed at a cost of P1.1 billion, are expected to spur enough vehicular volume for BCDA to recover the principal cost of constructing SCTEx as well as subsequent operation expenses.

Gervacio said that SCTEx currently makes around P1.3 million on normal days. "The most that we could raise is P2.5 million during long weekends," Gervacio added.

Despite the encouraging income, Gervacio said it would not be prudent to light the entire stretch of SCTEx as this would entail a higher toll for motorists.

"The lighting of the entire stretch would cost us P2.2 billion for civil works alone," Gervacio said, adding that P6 million would be the day-to-day cost to light the SCTEx from 6:00 pm to 6:00 am.

The BCDA said there is enough lighting available along tollbooths and plazas with added reflector paints to aid motorists traveling at night. Gervacio also assured that security inside the SCTex is tight and there is enough paramedic support in case of accidents.

Winston S. Cruz, program manager of SCTEx operational support services, pointed out that BCDA strictly adheres to a continuing road improvement program not only to prolong the roadway's lifespan but also to ensure public safety and comfort. By Ian Ocampo Flora - SunStar

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