CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Philippines—With a Bailey bridge safely in place on the damaged approach to the Pasig-Potrero bridge, the Clark-Porac segment of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) is to reopen to traffic at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, an official of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority announced on Saturday.
But only light vehicles will be allowed through initially during the first two weeks, when additional support structures are to be installed to eventually allow heavier vehicles to also use the bridge.
The reopening of the highway comes 23 days after lahar mobilized by Tropical Storm Maring’s heavy rains damaged the embankment of the Pasig-Potrero bridge and caused the approach across four lanes to collapse on August19, leaving a gap of some two meters.
“We recognize the vital role of the SCTEx in the socio-economic growth and development of Central Luzon being the main artery in the delivery of goods and services in the region. That is why the BCDA made sure that the closed segment of the toll road be open to traffic at the least possible time without compromising the safety of the motorists,” BCDA president Arnel Casanova said in a statement.
In a text message, he said it cost the BCDA P1.6 million to install the Bailey bridge.
“The bridge itself is from the [Department of Public Works and Highways,” Casanova told the Inquirer.
The temporary structure is made of steel plates and posts held together by nuts and bolts or welded together. The DPWH and BCDA put it up in a record nine days.
Laid out on the Clark-bound section, this has two opposite lanes, providing access to both Clark and Subic and vice versa, according to Joseph Bingcang, SCTEx services manager of the BCDA, in the same statement.
The temporary bridge, spanning 49 meters and capable of carrying 25 tons, will be open to Class 1 or light vehicles in the meantime. Medium to heavy vehicles will be allowed to pass through it in the next two weeks after additional support structures shall have been put in place.
“We are doing this to ensure the safety of the motorists,” Bingcang said.
A BCDA advisory said Class 2 and Class 3 vehicles coming from Manila or Tarlac going to Subic/Tipo should exit at the Clark South Interchange. From there, these should take the Clark Friendship-Manibaug Road going to Porac Interchange (to enter SCTEx).
Class 2 and Class 3 vehicles from Subic/Tipo going to Tarlac or Manila may exit at Porac Interchange then take the Manibaug-Friendship Road going to Clark South Interchange (to enter SCTEX).
Traffic updates may be obtained from the SCTEX hotline 0920-96SCTEX or 3-5000.