Tarlac–Pangasinan–La Union Expressway

Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway
NLEx Extension Phase 2
North Luzon West Expressway (NLWE) Phase 2
R-8 Extension 2
Map of expressways in Luzon, with the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway in red
;">Route information
Length:
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North end: Rosario, La Union
South end: Tarlac City, Tarlac
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Highways in the Philippines

The Tarlac–Pangasinan–La Union Expressway (TPLEx) is an 88.85-kilometer four-lane expressway currently under construction north of Manila, in the Philippines, planned to begin in Tarlac City, Tarlac and end at Rosario, La Union.[1]

The first section of the project, from Tarlac City to Gerona, Tarlac, has been operating on a "soft opening" basis since October 31, 2013, and is expected to be ready for full operation by November 2013.[2]

The second segment, which will take motorists up to Rosales, Pangasinan is projected for a mid-2014 opening[3], and the final section ending in Rosario, La Union, is slated for completion in 2016.[4]

Proposals have also been raised for extending the project all the way to Laoag in Ilocos Norte.[5]

History

Conception and Early Development

Moves for the creation of an expressway system that would stretch from the Philippine Capital of Manila all the way to Rosario, the southernmost town of the province of La Union, first began to bear fruit in the mid-2000s.

In 2005, construction began on the Subic–Clark–Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx), creating a linked expressway system which reached all the way to Tarlac City, Tarlac - an improvement over the North Luzon Expressway's terminus which reached only up to Mabalacat, Pampanga.

In 2006, Congressional representatives from Northern Luzon took advantage of a the final reading House Bill 5749[6] to lobby for a project that would extend the expressway system to Rosario, as a means to boost trade, tourism, and speed up transportation in the provinces of Tarlac, Eastern Pangasinan and La Union.[7] As a result of this lobbying, the Arroyo administration announced in October 2006 a ten year period in which the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) would be extended from Mabalacat, Pampanga to Rosario, La Union and the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) would be extended from Calamba, Laguna to Lucena City in Quezon.[8]

In 2008, the SCTEx was formally opened, setting the stage for the development of the TPLEx, which would extend beyond the SCTEx' terminus in Tarlac City.

The initial plan for the construction of the TPLEx was that it would be carried out in two phases: The first phase would involve the construction of two lanes while the second phase entailed its expansion into four lanes to accommodate 25,000 vehicles.

Three local banks undertook the financing of the TPLEX: BDO Unibank, Development Bank of the Philippines and Land Bank of the Philippines. This made TPLEX notable in the Infrastructure and Development Financing industry "the first [Public-Private Partnership] project in the Philippines to feature an all-domestic cast of sponsors and lenders.” London-based Project Finance Magazine named the TPLEX as its "Asia Pacific Transport Deal of the Year" for 2011. [9]

The financing, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of the Tarlac-La Union Toll Expressway Phase 1 was eventually awarded to Private Infra Development Corporation (PIDC)[10] [11]

A contributor to delays in the early development of the TPLEX was the acquisition of the Right of Way for the project. With the TPLEX identified as a high priority government project[12], the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) was given the task of acquiring the Right of Way for the project's proposed alignment, and was allocated P793 million in the hope that the process could be expedited. [13]

However, numerous legal disputes regarding affected properties, notably in the Tarlac segment of the project[14], meant delays in the negotiation process being undertaken by the DPWH.[15]

There was also some controversy when a proposal in congress was brought up to change the alignment of the project to change the location of the final interchange in Rosario, La Union.[16]

Construction

The first phase of the Tarlac-La Union Toll Expressway started in January, 2010.[17][18]

In April 2013, San Miguel Corporation announced that the segment from Tarlac City up to Urdaneta City will be built with four lanes, instead of the initial plan of two lanes only. However, this also pushed back the opening day of the expressway from June 2013 to November 2013.[19]

The proposed superhighway will be built parallel to MacArthur Highway, passing through the city of Tarlac and the municipalities of La Paz, Gerona, Victoria, Pura, Anao and Ramos in Tarlac, Nampicuan and Cuyapo in Nueva Ecija and Rosales, Villasis, Urdaneta City, Binalonan, Pozzorubio and Sison in Pangasinan and Rosario, La Union.[20]

Development Stage Tollway Alignment
Phase 1 Tarlac City, Tarlac to Rosales, Pangasinan
Phase 2 Rosales, Pangasinan to Urdaneta City, Pangasinan
Phase 3 Urdaneta City, Pangasinan to Rosario, La Union

The right-of-way (ROW) for the project is situated in the left part, unlike in other projects, as this is the most logical alignment. The Philippine government is still in the process of determining the number of families to be affected by the acquisition of the ROW and the cost it will entail as some parts of the detailed engineering are incomplete.

The project will be implemented through public-private partnership using the Build–operate–transfer (BOT) scheme in which the project proponent is responsible for the design, financing, and construction of the initial two-lane expressway.

Once the toll road is completed, it will be turned over to the government. The government will then grant the proponent the franchise to operate and maintain the toll road, after which the proponent, after a certificate to commence toll operation issued by the Toll Regulatory Board, shall operate the road on behalf of the government under a long term concession agreement.

This is the Phase 2 of the North Luzon West Expressway and also the extension of North Luzon Expressway and Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway from Tarlac to Rosario, La Union.

Tarlac City - Gerona Segment Opening

On October 25, 2013, the Toll Regulatory Board authorized the issuance of the Toll Operation Permit for the Tarlac City - Gerona segment of the TPLEX after the construction of that segment was completed by Private Infra Dev Corp. (PIDC), the all-Filipino consortium backed by conglomerates San Miguel Corp. (SMC) and DMCI Holdings Inc.[2]

This first phase, referred to as Section 1A, begins with a connection to SCTEX, then stretches 17 kilometers from Tarlac City to Victoria, and then to Gerona, Tarlac. It is expected to cut current travel time to Baguio by as much as 40 minutes.[2]

Technical specifications

  • Name: Tarlac–Pangasinan–La Union Expressway
  • Concession Holder: Private Infra Development Corporation
  • Operator: Private Infra Development Corporation
  • Length: 88.58 Kilometers
  • Concession starting date: November 2013 (Section 1A)
  • Concession ending date:
  • Highway exits: 10
  • Toll plazas: 2
  • Rest and Service Areas: None
  • Minimum Height Clearance on Underpasses: 4.28 m (14')

Tolls

Class Toll
Class 1
(Cars, Motorcycles, SUVs, Jeepneys)
PhP 0.00/km
Class 2
(Buses, Light Trucks)
PhP 0.00/km
Class 3
(Heavy Trucks)
PhP 0.00/km

Features

Special features of the expressway will include:[21]

  • There will be a fleet of patrol cars and emergency assistance vehicles that can respond to motorists anywhere along the stretch within 10 minutes
  • Concrete barriers
  • Guardrails
  • Lighting and cameras in all toll plazas
  • Signs and pavement markings with powdered glass beads for enhanced visibility
  • Speed sensors to ensure motorists will keep to the 100-kilometers per hour limit
  • Toll plazas in major entry points will be equipped with electronic card dispensing machines
  • All installations will be fiber optic, internet-enabled

Exit list

Exits are numbered by kilometer post, with Rizal Park in Manila designated as Kilometer 0. Exits start at 228 because the SCTEX is connected with TPLEX. Thus, the last exit of SCTEX will be succeeded by an exit in TPLEX.

Km no. North bound Km no. South bound Exit Interchange type Location Remarks
228 228 Tarlac Exit Trumpet (end of expressway) Barangay Amucao,
Tarlac City, Tarlac
This is the southern terminus of TPLEX. Exits connected to Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway.
? ? Tarlac Central Toll Plaza Barangay Villa Bacolor,
Tarlac City, Tarlac
The first toll barrier of the expressway. This is the exit where one of the 2 plazas and the corporate offices are located.
? ? Victoria Exit Trumpet Barangay Baculong,
Victoria, Tarlac
This entry/exit point would take you to Barangay Baculong and to Victoria, Tarlac.
? ? Gerona Exit Trumpet Barangay Singat,
Gerona, Tarlac
This entry/exit point would take you to Barangay Singat and to Gerona, Tarlac.
? ? Paniqui Exit Barangay Guiteb,
Ramos, Tarlac
This entry/exit point would take you to Barangay Guiteb and to Ramos, Tarlac.
? ? Moncada Exit Trumpet Barangay San Francisco East,
Anao, Tarlac
This entry/exit point would take you to Barangay San Francisco East and to Anao, Tarlac.
? ? San Manuel Exit Barangay ?,
San Manuel, Tarlac
This entry/exit point would take you to San Manuel, Tarlac. This is the last exit of the expressway in Tarlac.
? ? Rosales Exit Trumpet Barangay Tumana East,
Rosales, Pangasinan
This entry/exit point would take you to SM City Rosales, to Barangay Tumana East and to Rosales, Pangasinan.
? ? Urdaneta Exit Barangay ?,
Urdaneta City, Pangasinan
This entry/exit point would take you to City of Urdaneta.
? ? Pozzorubio Exit Barangay ?,
Pozzarubio, Pangasinan
This entry/exit point would take you to Pozzorubio, Pangasinan.
none none Rosario Exit (End of Expressway) Barangay ?,
Rosario, La Union
This is the northern terminus of TPLEX. Exits connected to MacArthur Highway.

See also

References

External links

  • Road map of the proposed Tarlac-La Union expressway
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