NLEX to start pavement raising, urgent drainage improvement under Tulaoc Bridge on Sep. 23

Last month’s flooding along NLEX and under the Tulaoc Bridge in San Simon, Pampanga caused quite a stir. The waters took a very long time to recede and the Metro Pacific Tollways was quick to put its suggestion forward to raise the road level and improve the surrounding drainage to prevent the same thing from happening again. This “project” has been given the green light and roadworks will start this week on September 23, 2023.

NLEX advisory on expected traffic build-up for Tulaoc Bridge roadworks

Nlex Tulaoc Bridge Raise Pavement San Simon Pampanga Dpwh Inline 01 Min

Photo: NLEX Corp.

Torrential rains early last month caused massive flooding underneath the Tulaoc Bridge. Pumps were quickly deployed to address the situation but a long-term solution is what’s truly needed. A statement from MPTC President and CEO Rogelio Singson bared the plans for elevating the road level along the expressway but the structure of the Tulaoc Bridge itself makes it difficult to carry out. With trucks and trailers traversing the road below, raising the road level may put them in danger of hitting the bridge overhead.

Nlex Tulaoc Bridge Raise Pavement San Simon Pampanga Dpwh Inline 02 Min

Photo: NLEX Corp.

That notwithstanding, the roadworks now have the “GO” and will commence on September 23, 2023. The hope is to finish all the required road and drainage works before year’s end.

Construction will start on the northbound stretch of the area, with two lanes available for vehicles to use, plus a counterflow lane to be opened in the opposite direction. Once northbound works are finished, the same scheme will be applied along the southbound stretch.

Given this, Metro Pacific Tollways is asking motorists to “allow more time for travel and take alternative routes”. We can expect traffic enforcement personnel to likewise be deployed in key areas to help manage traffic flow for the duration of the repairs and works.

Nlex Tulaoc Bridge Raise Pavement San Simon Pampanga Dpwh Inline 03 Min

Photo: NLEX Corp.

Overall, the DPWH will be working to raise Tulaoc Bridge by 0.7 meters, and the road level by 0.3 meters. Should all go well, we can (and should) expect that flooding of that same extent will not happen while tall vehicles will remain safe from accidentally colliding with the Tulaoc Bridge structure.

That said, please do heed the advice and plan your travels accordingly. To address the flooding, traffic in the area will be inevitable while roadworks are in progress. Drive safely and keep your heads cool out there, everyone!

Mikko Juangco
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