Tarlac City and Binalonan, Pangasinan is now connected in less than one hour via the completed 67.9 kilometers Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) benefiting about 20,000 vehicles per day.
Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark A. Villar announced that TPLEX is now operational up to Binalonan following the recent soft-opening of the Urdaneta City-Binalonan segment.
"The Duterte administration is fast-tracking the construction of all projects to ensure that communities are livable, safe and accessible. The opening of this segment would cut travel time from Tarlac to Urdaneta by over 70% and would ensure easy access to many tourist destinations in Pangasinan," Villar said.
"This is only one of the many infrastructure investments which we hope to put in place to increase competitiveness and ease of doing business outside of Metro Manila. By improving our road network, we hope to strengthen agricultural and rural enterprise productivity as well as urban and rural tourism," he added.
The opening of the 4.92 kilometer Urdaneta Binalonan segment has reduced travel time from Tarlac City to Urdaneta from 2 hours and 30 minutes to about 40 minutes.
Progress of work for the construction of 7.53 kilometer Binalonan-Pozzurubio segment is at 61 percent and is expected to be completed by December 2016.
"We want the next segment completed in time for the Christmas season as this road would further reduce travel time to Baguio City and other areas of Northern Luzon and Cordillera", said Villar.
"Procrastinating contractors have no place in this administration. The moment we delay our projects, we deny the Filipino people their right to demand prudent use of their tax money," he added.
Villar said that by 2018, it is expected that the whole 88.85 kilometer stretch of TPLEX will be fully operational.
The 13.38 kilometer Pozorrubio, Pangasinan to Rosario, La Union segment will be completed by April 2018.
Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway is a P24.4 billion expressway project under Public Private Partnership, with Private Infra Dev Corp. (PIDC) as proponent. It is a 4-lane asphalt concrete pavement (ACP) road, complete with shoulder, drainage, bridge, and underpass components. Upon completion, TPLEX is expected to benefit over 100,000 vehicles per day and will cut travel time to Gerona, Paniqui, Rosales, Urdanata, and Rosario.
Source: Philippine Information Agency