If everything goes according to plan, the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway could be open by August, or at least the stretch from where the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway ends in the north at the Santa Rosa-Tarlac Road going to the Gerona, Tarlac, interchange.
This was revealed by Toll Regulatory Board spokesperson Julius Corpuz at the latest "Usapan AAP" forum hosted by Automobile Association Philippines. Corpuz warned, however, that this is a best-case scenario provided that the Department of Public Works and Highways is still on schedule to open at least the Victoria and Gerona interchanges two months from now. The TPLEX has seven interchanges after Victoria and Gerona: Paniqui, Moncada, San Manuel, Rosales, Urdaneta, Pozzorubio and Rosario.
Corpuz added that from the DPWH's initial plan to make the TPLEX just a two-lane highway, it has now become a four-lane highway thanks to the efforts of the TRB, AAP and various road safety organizations.
"We told them that it needs to be a four-lane highway for it to be safe to travel on," said Corpuz.
According to the DPWH, the first section of TPLEX, which runs from Tarlac City to Rosales, Pangasinan, is now 88% complete, while the right-of-way acquisition for section two to Urdaneta City, Pangasinan, is still ongoing. Construction of the Agno viaduct has reportedly started.
As for the third and final section to Rosario, La Union, the agency is reportedly waiting for its financial analysis following former congressman Mark Cojuangco's request to realign it. Supposedly, Cojuangco wants the Rosario interchange to follow the Manila North Road, also known as the MacArthur Highway, which would provide easier access to San Fernando, La Union, and other coastal towns of Ilocos.
Are you excited for TPLEX to open soon?
Photo from DPWH