ALAMINOS, Pangasinan

A convenient and faster travel time going to the Hundred Islands and other tourist spots in Pangasinan is dreamt with the 76.8 kilometer Pangasinan Link Expressway (PLEX) that will link the province’s western side to its eastern side already in the pipeline. SMC president and CEO
Ramon S. Ang and Pangasinan Gov. Ramon Guico III third week of October already signed the joint venture agreement and toll concession agreement for PLEX that will begin at the TarlacPangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) exit in Binalonan.

This is part of SMC’s larger plan to strengthen the road networks in Central and Northern Luzon.
PLEX is two-phased: Phase 1 will extend 42.76 kilometers from TPLEX to Lingayen, while Phase 2 will extend all the way to Alaminos, Pangasinan. Phase 1 of PLEX will be split into three segments: the first 6.90-km section from Binalonan to Manaoag, followed by an 11.30-km section from Manaoag to Calasiao, and the third segment, the 22.17-km section from Calasiao to Lingayen. A 2.39-km spur road will also be built in Calasiao.

Meanwhile, Phase 2 of the project will be a demand-driven expansion all the way to Alaminos.
SMC shoulders the construction costs, with zero expense for national or Pangasinan, which is even poised to receive a substantial share of the project’s earnings. “With PLEX connecting to other infrastructure such as TPLEX, which will support access to the New Manila International Airport (NMIA), this project will significantly benefit Pangasinan’s local industries, home-grown products, and agricultural sector.

At the same time, the rich history, culture, and cuisine of the province will be even more accessible to more Filipinos,” SMC President and CEO Ramon S. Ang said during the agreement signing at Sison town on October 19. Travel time from TPLEX Binalonan to Lingayen, Pangasinan’s capital, will be reduced to 30 minutes from 90 minutes. Pangasinan Governor Ramon V. Guico III said, PLEX is one of the most important projects, a game-changer for Pangasinan and for the Marcos Jr. administration.

“This is because it is envisioned to reinvent the transportation and enrich the tourism landscape; prioritize accessibility of citizens to major towns and cities, magnify business and livelihood opportunities, multiply economic activity, build more infrastructure, and protect the environment.”
“(We) are fulfilling a major item in our platform of government,” Guico III said, explaining, “we (are) realiz(ing) the objective of House Bill 4126 that I filed in Congress as Representative of the 5th
District.” “(We are) also actualiz(ing) the partnership that our province has nurtured and treasured with (SMC)“.

Further expressing gratitude to SMC President Ang and his team, Guico III also lauded the undying effort of the members of the Joint Venture Selection Committee led by Provincial Administrator
Melicio F. Patague II with the provincial heads, and the unfailing support of the Sangguniang
Panlalawigan headed by Vice Governor Mark Ronald DG. Lambino which he called “a collective gift” to the posterity of Pangasinan. PLEX, which is slated to be finished by 2025, is one of the symbols of our connection dedicated to the more than 3.1 million Pangasinenses who dreamed of the long overdue progress of the province, Guico III said.

Artemio A. Dumlao/ABN

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