THE CLARK South B toll plaza.
TWENTY NEW lanes are set to be added at the toll plazas of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), operator NLEX Corp. announced on Wednesday. The expansion project, which is expected to be completed by Nov., involves one toll lane each at the Clark North entry/exit and Clark South B exit; two each at Clark South A exit and Tarlac entry/exit; conversion of the San Miguel (Luisita) plaza into a full interchange with two lanes each at the northbound entry and southbound exit and another toll lane will be added to the northbound exit; and the soon-to-open Bamban Interchange will have three entry and three exit lanes. “The additional toll lanes will help improve SCTEX’s connectivity in its areas, particularly in Clark, which is being positioned as Asia’s next aerotropolis and investment center,” said Luigi Bautista, president and general manager of NLEX Corp., a unit of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC). The Bamban Interchange will become the direct connection to New Clark City, the main venue for this year’s Southeast Asian Games. MPTC is the tollways unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp., one of three key Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT, Inc. Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Denise A. Valdez