Philippines’ first freeway now open

Today is a historic event for the Filipinos as the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) officially opens the first 18-kilometer section of the country’s first true freeway – the Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEX).

DPWH opens CLLEX – Philippines’ first true freeway image

“As declared a month ago, we will inaugurate on Thursday, July 15, 2021, the first 18-kilometer section of CLLEX from Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX)/Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) connection in Tarlac City up to the intersection of Aliaga-Guimba Road in Aliaga, Nueva Ecija,” said public works secretary, Mark Villar.

The new CLLEX, (whose partial opening was originally planned back in May), is a 30-kilometer freeway that will connect Tarlac City in Tarlac to Cabanatuan City in Nueva Ecija.

This toll-free expressway project implemented by the DPWH UPMO-Roads Management Cluster 1. It is one of the key infrastructure projects with funding assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) under the Build, Build, Build program.

The partial opening of CLLEX up to Aliaga is expected to provide options to motorists and spread out traffic better.

DPWH opens CLLEX – Philippines’ first true freeway image

DPWH adds that they are committed to completing the entire 30-kilometer freeway project within the term of President Rodrigo Duterte, with the 10.3 kilometer Cabanatuan Section already at 89% completion, while the Zaragoza Interchange Section is currently at 27% completion and expected to gain significant progress when the project’s right of way (ROW) requirements are secured.

Once fully operational, the PH₱11.811-Billion expressway is expected to shorten the usual travel time of one hour and ten minutes between Tarlac City and Cabanatuan City to just 20 minutes.