17-km stretch of TPLEx now open to motorists
Michael Rebuyas (The Philippine Star) - November 2, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Commuters will now have a relatively shorter travel time to Baguio City, as a 17-kilometer stretch of the 88.6-kilometer Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEx) opened last Thursday, in time for the increase of commuters and travelers on All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.

The opening of the expressway’s portion would not only provide a faster, safer, and convenient travel north of Metro Manila, but would also help enhance business and tourism in both Central and Northern Luzon, according to Transportion and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya.

Abaya also noted that opening the expressway would also bring opportunities to previously inaccessible places, increase real estate values, and spur economic activities.

According to Abaya, by upgrading the TPLEx to a four-lane divided expressway instead of the original two-lane undivided expressway design, motorists’ safety and convenience have also been enhanced.

This four-lane design includes a center median, which separates traffic in opposite directions, making travel safer and faster for the public, Abaya said.

The first phase of the TPLEx starts in La Paz in Tarlac City, runs toward Victoria, and ends in Gerona, also in Tarlac.

The expressway will also have exits in Paniqui and Moncada in Tarlac; Rosales, Urdaneta City, and Pozorrubio in Pangasinan, and Rosario in La Union, and is expected to cut travel time to Baguio City by as much as 40 minutes.

The section up to Rosales will open in mid-2014, and the section up to La Union, in 2016.

Last Friday, the Toll Regulatory Board issued a toll operation permit for the expressway after the Private Infra Development Corp. (PIDC) completed the construction of the first phase.

The 17-kilometer thoroughfare is equipped with advanced sensors, lighting and reflectors. Motorists can also expect prompt emergency response service by police patrol cars, fire and tow trucks and ambulances, which will be on standby and which can be dispatched to the scene within 10 minutes.

The TPLEx is also jointly supervised by the Department of Public Works and Highways.

ABAYA ALL SAINTS BAGUIO CITY CENTRAL AND NORTHERN LUZON DAY AND ALL SOULS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS EXPRESSWAY LA PAZ LA UNION LAST FRIDAY METRO MANILA
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