Subic–Clark–Tarlac Expressway

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Subic–Clark–Tarlac Expressway
Map of expressways in Luzon, with the Subic‑Clark‑Tarlac Expressway in red
Route information
Maintained by Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC)
Length: 93.8 km (58.3 mi)
Component
highways:
  • R-8 R-8
  • E1 (Clark to Tarlac)
  • E4 (Subic to Clark)
Major junctions
North end: E1 (Tarlac–Pangasinan–La Union Expressway) / Route 58 (Santa Rosa–Tarlac Road) – La Paz, Tarlac
 
South end: E4 (Subic–Tipo Expressway) – Hermosa
Location
Major cities:
Towns:
Highway system

Roads in the Philippines

The Subic–Clark–Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) is a 93.77-kilometer (58.27 mi) four-lane expressway north of Manila, in the Philippines, built by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), a government owned and controlled corporation under the Office of the President. Started on April 5, 2005, the Subic–Clark–Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) is the country’s longest expressway at 93.77 kilometres (58.27 miles). Commercial operations started on April 28, 2008, with the opening of the Subic-Clark Segment and Zone A of the portion of Clark-Tarlac Segment. The opening of Zones B and C of the remaining Clark-Tarlac Segment on July 25, 2008 signaled the full operations of the SCTEX.[1]

The construction of SCTEX seeks to provide a more efficient transport corridor between Subic Bay Freeport, the Clark Freeport Zone, and the Central Techno Park in Tarlac, foster development on the municipalities served, and connecting major infrastructures such as the Seaport in Subic and the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Clark.

The southern terminus of the SCTEX is at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone in Zambales, it passes through the Clark Freeport Zone in two interchanges: Clark North and Clark South. The expressway is linked to the North Luzon Expressway through the Mabalacat Interchange, and its northern terminus is at Brgy. Amucao in Tarlac City, Tarlac and TPLEX.

The expressway crosses the 4 rivers in Central Luzon region. The rivers along SCTEx are Dinalupihan River in Bataan, Gumain River in Floridablanca, Pasig-Potrero River in Porac (both located within the province of Pampanga) and Sacobia River in Concepcion, Tarlac.

Route description[edit]

The entirety of SCTEX is built as a four-lane expressway mostly laid out on embankment. All the exits require toll payment, and toll plazas are laid on the termini of the expressway. The expressway are given the numbers E4 and E1, with the transition at Mabalacat Exit, but unsigned and only appearing in Department of Public Works and Highways official number route maps.

Tipo to Mabalacat[edit]

Subic–Clark–Tarlac Expressway near Floridablanca in Pampanga

SCTEX starts at the east end of the Subic-Tipo Expressway in barangay Tipo in Dinalupihan, Bataan. The expressway is built alongside the older Jose Abad Santos Avenue/Olongapo-Gapan Road (N3) until Dinalupihan exit, where the expressway curves northward. The Jose Abad Santos Avenue passes under SCTEX, and a Hermosa-Olongapo transmission line of National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) crosses at the same point. The expressway follows a mostly straight route up to Floridablanca, at entering Pampanga, where the expressway curves to the northeast before Floridablanca Exit. It curves toward the northwest and back to the northeast before Porac Exit. Alviera, a mixed-use area being developed in Porac, Pampanga, lies near Porac Exit, that serves as its access to and from the expressway. It crosses the Pasig-Potrero River at approach to Angeles, and curves eastward and then northward near Clark Freeport and Diosdado Macapagal International Airport. Clark South Exit, which serves those areas, lies near Mabalacat Interchange, with the exits being one kilometer apart from each other. The route number of the expressway changes at the Mabalacat Interchange, where it takes the number E1, that comes from the North Luzon Expressway via Clark Spur Road.

Mabalacat to Tarlac City[edit]

A portion of SCTEX near Concepcion, Tarlac. The Concepcion-Clark transmission line of National Grid Corporation of the Philippines can be seen on both sides of the highway.

The expressway takes the number E1 at Mabalacat Interchange, where its main destination changes to Tarlac City and Baguio. The roadway runs at the boundary of Clark Freeport and Mabalacat city proper, where the abandoned Philippine National Railways (PNR) main line to Dagupan and San Fernando, La Union also lies. MacArthur Highway (N2) parallels the expressway up to Tarlac City.

Leaving Clark Freeport, Clark North Exit comes before the expressway, where it curves and then crosses MacArthur Highway at barangay Dolores, where a half-partial cloverleaf interchange, serving only northbound traffic, connects the two. The Clark-Concepcion transmission line of NGCP enters the expressway approaching Dolores Exit, and runs along it, mostly supported by tubular steel poles and lattice towers with designs of three-level and portal, up to Concepcion, Tarlac, where the line, a double circuit line, turns northward toward Concepcion Substation within the municipality. Approaching Tarlac, the expressway crosses over the Sacobia River through a bridge mentioned before. The first service areas on the expressway, one serving northbound traffic, and the other serving southbound traffic, apart by one kilometer, comes before Concepcion Exit. The overhead transmission lines from Clark to Concepcion are relocated from the sides of the expressway to accommodate the service areas and their future expansions. The expressway passes near the poblacion of Concepcion, then over agricultural land of Tarlac City and La Paz. Hacienda Luisita Exit, that serves Hacienda Luisita as well as connecting MacArthur Highway and serving barangays along its connecting road, comes before the northern end of the expressway at Tarlac City Exit. A new toll plaza built on the main route serves Tarlac City Exit, whose toll gates are removed with its opening. Past Tarlac City Exit, Subic–Clark–Tarlac Expressway becomes Tarlac–Pangasinan–La Union Expressway (TPLEX) northward.

History[edit]

Construction[edit]

The Subic–Clark–Tarlac Expressway or SCTEx Project was initiated under the administration of former President Joseph Estrada with an original project cost of ₱15.73 billion.[2] Construction was started in 2005 under the government of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. It is the longest tollway in the Philippines that connects Subic, Clark and Tarlac. It was completed with a project cost of ₱34.981 Billion.[3]

The original project for the expressway is divided into segments, the 50.5-kilometer (31.4-mile) Subic-Clark segment, and the 43.27-kilometer (26.89-mile) Clark-Tarlac segment. The contractors for the project are a joint venture of Kajima, Obayashi, JFE Engineering, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, for the Subic-Clark segment, and a joint venture of Hazama,Taisei, and Nippon Steel, for the Clark-Tarlac segment. Consultation were provided by a joint venture of Oriental Consultant, Katahira & Engineering International, and Nippon Koei Co. Ltd.

The total cost of the project equals 34.907 billion (USD 735000822.53). Seventy-eight percent of the cost were funded by way of a loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-with an interest rate of 0.95% per annum; 22 percent represents the BCDA counterpart.

The total cost for the construction of the expressway is ₱34.957 billion. It was sourced through a loan from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) amounting to ¥41.93 billion or ₱23.06 billion-with an interest rate of 0.95% per annum.[4][5][6][7]

Soft opening[edit]

On March 18, 2008 at exactly 1 PM, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo opened the Subic - Clark segment of the Subic–Clark–Tarlac Expressway for the Holy Week Dry Run. This helped the motorists celebrating Holy Week in Zambales and Bataan. The Dry Run was free and for Class 1 Vehicles Only. The Holy Week Dry Run was from March 18: 1 PM to 5:30 PM and March 19 to 24: 5:30 AM to 5:30 PM because the expressway had no lights yet.

Subic - Clark Segment opening[edit]

On April 28, 2008 at exactly 12 noon, BCDA Announced the Subic - Clark Segment of Subic–Clark–Tarlac Expressway was now open to all vehicles. BCDA said that travel time from Manila to Subic via North Luzon Expressway would now only take 1 Hour and 40 Minutes while the travel time from Clark to Subic would only take 40 minutes. Exit to Dolores (formerly Clark North A Exit) continues to MacArthur road.

Clark - Tarlac Segment opening[edit]

On July 25, 2008 12:01 am, the BCDA announced the opening of the Clark-Tarlac Segment of the Subic–Clark–Tarlac Expressway. Travel time from Clark to Tarlac was reduced to only 25 Minutes and to travel the entire length of the SCTEx would only take 1 Hour and 5mins. or 65 Minutes. At the same time, the travel time from Manila to Tarlac via NLEx and the SCTEx would only take 1 Hour and 25 Minutes.

Operations and maintenance[edit]

The expressway is part of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority's Subic–Clark–Tarlac Expressway Project or SCTEP, which aims to connect the ecozones of Subic and Clark. The joint-venture of First Philippine Infrastructure Development Corporation (FPIDC), Tollways Management Corporation and Egis Projects, the same concessionaires of the North Luzon Expressway, would handle all the operations and maintenance of the expressway. The First Philippine Infrastructure Development Corporation is a subsidiary of First Philippine Holdings, a holding company under the Lopez Group of Companies with core investments in power and tollways, and strategic initiatives in property and manufacturing. The FPIDC was eventually sold to Metro Pacific Investments Corporation in 2008.

The SCTEX business and operating agreement between the BCDA and the Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC), and its holdings companies Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) and Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), was signed July 25, 2011. Under the business and operating agreement, MNTC will operate and manage SCTEX for 33 years, while relieving BCDA of the heavy financial burden of paying the ₱34-billion debt to the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). By virtue of the Agreement, the SCTEX can be considered as having been built at no cost to Government.

Other related developments[edit]

₱25.737 billion of the total project cost represents direct costs such as expenses incurred for the construction of the SCTEX. The indirect costs of ₱7.146 billion include land acquisition, consultancy services, project management expenses and taxes and duties. Financing costs of ₱2.074 billion include the Department of Finance guarantee fee and JBIC loan interest during the construction period. Toll Fees are approved by the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB)[8]

Technical specifications[edit]

  • Name: Subic–Clark–Tarlac Expressway
  • Concession holder: NLEX Corporation
  • Operator: Tollways Management Corporation
  • Length: 93.8 km (58.2 mi)
  • Concession starting date: BCDA: Q3 2008, MNTC: 2016
  • Concession ending date: BCDA: 2016, MNTC: October 31, 2043
  • Highway exits: 12
  • Lanes: 4 Lanes (2 Lanes each direction)
  • Toll plazas: 3
  • Rest and Service Areas: 2
  • Minimum Height Clearance on Underpasses: 4.88m (16ft)

Toll[edit]

Tipo toll plaza in Hermosa, Bataan, before the toll system integration with NLEX.

The toll system of Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway is a closed road system that uses cards with magnetic strips, and from March 2016, electronic toll collection, using the Easytrip system by its concessionaire, Manila North Tollways Corporation, is introduced, eventually integrating the toll system of the expressway with North Luzon Expressway's. Before March 2016, the toll system is completely independent, with toll collection from NLEX and vice versa being done at a toll plaza on Clark Spur Road in Mabalacat, until the structure's demolition following the toll system integration.

On March 2016, the integration of the North Luzon Expressway and the SCTEX was completed, in time for the Holy Week exodus. Among the integration plans which costed 650 million pesos are the reduction of toll collection stops, construction of additional toll plazas and the conversion of the electronic toll collection of the two expressways into a single system.[9]

The toll rates, by kilometer travelled and vehicle class are as follows:

Class Toll
Class 1
(Cars, Motorcycles, SUVs, Jeepneys)
2.67/km
Class 2
(Buses, Light Trucks)
₱5.35/km
Class 3
(Heavy Trucks)
₱8.03/km

Services[edit]

From 2016, Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway has two service areas on Capas, Tarlac, coming after the Pampanga-Tarlac boundary at Sacobia River. One of the service areas is on the northbound lanes and the other one is on the southbound lanes. The northbound service area is composed of a PTT gas station and a 7-Eleven store. The southbound service area is composed of a Seaoil gas station and a building to host restaurants and shops. Both service areas include a future expansion to accommodate additional retail and parking space.

Exits[edit]

Province City/Municipality km mi Exit Name Destinations Notes
Bataan Dinalupihan 91 57 91 Tipo E5 (Subic-Tipo), Tipo Eastbound exit and westbound entrance. Continues west as Subic-Tipo Expressway (NLEx Segment 7).
91 57 Tipo toll plaza (Easytrip, cash payments, after Tipo interchange)
104 65 104 Mabiga Mabiga Unfinished exit in the nearby towns of Naparing and Mabiga of Dinalupihan and Hermosa Municipalities in Bataan respectively. Construction of the exit was discontinued prior to any completion for unknown reasons. The supposedly exit/entry point is still seen in the expressway closed off by concrete barriers.
107 66 107 Dinalupihan Dinalupihan Trumpet interchange. Connects SCTEx and Roman Superhighway.
Pampanga Floridablanca 125 78 125 Floridablanca Floridablanca Trumpet interchange. Access to Basa Air Base.
Porac 139 86 139 Porac Porac Trumpet interchange. Access to Alviera.
Porac - Angeles boundary Bridge over the Pasig - Potrero River
Angeles 149 93 149 Clark South (Lakandula) Clark South, Angeles, Clark International Airport Folded diamond interchange or partial cloverleaf interchange. Access to the Clark Special Economic Zone via Clark International Airport gateway and Manuel Roxas Avenue.
Pampanga Mabalacat 150–
88
93–
55
150 Mabalacat E1 (NLEX) – Manila Trumpet interchange. Route number change from E5 to E1. Signed as exit 88 southbound.
91 57 91 Clark North (San Joaquin/Clark North B) Clark North Directional T interchange.
93 58 93 Dolores (Clark North A) Dolores, Bamban Half Y/Folded diamond interchange. Northbound exit and entrance only. Connects with MacArthur Highway.
101 63 PTT service area (Northbound)
Tarlac Concepcion 102 63 Seaoil service area (Southbound)
103 64 103 Concepcion Concepcion, Capas Trumpet interchange. Access with the Concepcion–Magalang Road.
Tarlac City 118 73 118 Hacienda Luisita Hacienda Luisita Half trumpet interchange. Northbound exit and southbound entrance. Access to Hacienda Luisita Industrial Park
Tarlac toll plaza (Easytrip, cash payments, from March 18, 2016)
122 76 122 Tarlac E1 (TPLEX), Tarlac City, La Paz, Cabanatuan Half Y/folded diamond interchange. Continues northward as Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX)
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Clark Spur Road[edit]

The entire route is located in Mabalacat, Pampanga.. 

km mi Exit Name Destinations Notes
E1 (NLEX) – Manila Half-Y interchange. Eastern end.
Mabalacat Mabalacat Westbound exit and eastbound entrance.
Mabalacat toll plaza (cash payments) (demolished)
E1 (SCTEX Main) / E5, Clark South, Porac, Floridablanca, Dinalupihan, Subic Freeport Zone, Clark North, Dolores, Concepcion, Hacienda Luisita, Tarlac City, Baguio (via TPLEX) Trumpet interchange. Western end.
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References[edit]

External links[edit]