NLEX CORP. said Monday that its P1.6-billion Subic Freeport Expressway (SFEx) capacity expansion project, which is expected to ease travel to and from the freeport zone, is now 50% complete.

Construction activities “are in various stages of development and seen to be completed by the end of the year,” NLEX Corp. said in a statement.

The project involves the construction of “two additional expressway lanes, two new spans at the Jadjad and Argonaut bridges, and a new tunnel adjacent to the existing one, transforming the road into a four-lane expressway,” it added.

NLEX Corp. expects the transport of goods in and out of the Subic Freeport to be faster and simpler once it completes the project.

Subic is home to the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, serving as a major port for Central and North Luzon.

“By increasing the road capacity of SFEx, which traverses the provinces of Bataan and Zambales, transport of goods in and out of the Subic Freeport will be faster and easier. This would also mean that the expressway can accommodate more motorists at a given time,” NLEX Corp. President and General Manager J. Luigi L. Bautista was quoted as saying.

The company said it has partnered with the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority to include in the project scope “the raising of elevation of the Maritan Highway-Rizal and Highway-Tipo Road Junction and enhancing its drainage system to improve flood management in the area.”

The SFEx expansion is also expected to make Subic a more viable tourist and investment destination because of improved connectivity.

NLEX Corp. is a unit of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. Its parent Metro Pacific Investments Corp. is one of three key Philippine units of Hong Kong’s First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT, Inc.

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