Economic development in the region of Central Luzon is set to be significantly improved thanks to a new access road being built by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). 

The government organization has officially begun construction work for the 17.74-kilometer access road on Tuesday (April 26), which will connect the Subic Bay Freeport Zone to the Mabiga Exit of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) in Bataan.

According to DPWH Regional Director Roseller Tolentino, the new diversion road will link up with the Hermosa Ecozone Industrial Park, bringing it closer to major seaports and airports within the region. It will also boost inter-regional accessibility. By connecting to the Luzon Spine Expressway Network.

The project is part of a bigger, multi-year plan that started back in 2020. It includes the improvement of the 3.95-kilometer Mabiga-Morong segment worth PHP120 million, which has an accomplishment rate of 74.28 percent as of March 31, 2022. Meanwhile, the 7.264-kilometer Mabiga-Palihan section – also under the multi-year plan – was given a total of PHP200 million under the 2021 national budget.

“Our thrust is to increase our road investments in the region. Expanding our existing road networks in the country’s industrial heartland will primarily benefit ecozone locators as there will be greater mobility that can result in lower business costs and faster delivery of goods and services,” Tolentino said in a statement.

The project is expected to be completed by 2027 and has a total estimated cost of PHP4.05 billion.

“Right now, we are working on this project in phases and there is a lot of extensive work that need(s) to be done before it can be fully used by the public. The Regional Construction Division and our Bataan 1st District Engineering Office are committed to fast-track the implementation of this project,” Tolentino explained. 

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Image credit: DPWH