The Public Works Department granted the original proponent status to San Miguel Holdings Corp. for the P23.95-billion extension of Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway to San Juan, La Union.
“It’s original proponent status for the TPLEx extension,”Public Works Secretary Mark Villar told reporters.
As the original proponent, San Miguel Holdings will have the right to match any offer of competing bidder who will participate in the Swiss Challenge for the project.
San Miguel’s unsolicited project involves a 59.4-kilometer four-lane toll road from the exit of TPLEx in Rosario to San Juan. The Rosario section of the expressway is expected to be completed this year, while its Pozorrubio section opened in December 2017.
The extension project would be divided into three segments, with the first segment spanning 18 km from Rosario to Tubao. The second segment will stretch 23 km from Tubao to Naguilian and the last segment will run 18.4 km from Naguilian to San Juan.
San Miguel said the project aimed to promote the development of Northern Luzon and facilitate connectivity to Central Luzon and Metro Manila through a high-speed and secured access.
San Miguel-led Private Infra Dev Corp. holds the concession for TPLEx, an 88.85-km, four-lane, high-speed toll road that connects Northern Luzon to Manila. It is designed to integrate with other major toll roads such as North Luzon Expressway and Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway.
The construction of TPLEx began in 2010 in three phases. The first was completed in April 2014, running from Tarlac City to Carmen, Pangasinan.
The second stretching from Carmen to Urdaneta was completed in December 2014. The third section from Urdaneta to Rosario, La Union is expected to be completed in 2018.
TPLEx reduced travel time from Tarlac City to Gerona from 45 minutes to 10 minutes, benefitting 8,000 vehicles per day.
It also reduced travel time from Tarlac City to Paniqui, Tarlac from one hour to 15 minutes and the travel time from Tarlac to Rosales from two hours to 30 minutes.
It cut travel time from Tarlac to Urdaneta from two hours to 30 minutes and the travel time from Tarlac to Rosario from 3.5 hours to one hour.
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