PUBLIC WORKS and Highways Secretary Mark A. Villar said the first phase of the 19.8-kilometer access road to Clark International Airport in Pampanga from New Clark City in Tarlac is now 88% complete.

In a pre-State of the Nation Address virtual briefing Wednesday, Mr. Villar said the first 5.33-kilometer segment of the access road is targeted for completion next month.

“Upon full development of all three phases by 2021, the road will create a direct link from the Clark Main Zone, Clark International Airport to New Clark City and vice versa,” he noted.

He said construction of an access road to New Clark City from the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) is also ongoing.

“This road has a length of 12 kilometers and has eight lanes, two interchanges, three bridges, bike and pedestrian lanes, roadway lighting, and linear parks,” Mr. Villar said.

He said the road project, which is 80% finished and targeted for completion in October, will cut travel time from SCTEX to Capas, Tarlac to 10 minutes from 40.

The government is working to strengthen the potential of New Clark City as an investment destination and an international training hub for sports, Mr. Villar said.

“New Clark City, which played a key role during the 30th Southeast Asian Games, is now helping the country as a COVID-19 quarantine facility,” he said.

He also mentioned the new passenger terminal building of the Clark International Airport that is expected to be finished by October.

The new Clark airport terminal building will accommodate an additional 8 million passengers, bringing the northern gateway’s overall capacity to 12 million a year.

“Clark International Airport will be able to service the growing catchment area up North, and help ease air traffic congestion at Manila’s international airports,” Mr. Villar said. — Arjay L. Balinbin