The Tarlac–Pangasinan–La Union Expressway (TPLEX), signed as E1 of the Philippine expressway network and R-8 of the Metro Manila arterial road network, is a controlled-access toll expressway that connects the Central Luzon region with the Ilocos Region.
From its northern terminus at Rosario in La Union to its southern terminus at Tarlac City, the expressway has a length of 89.21-kilometer (55.43 mi), cutting through the various provinces in northern Central Luzon.
While proposals for a construction of an expressway system from Metro Manila to La Union had been raised before the 2000s, the construction of the TPLEX only began in January 2010.
The expressway began operations on October 31, 2013. The final section from Pozorrubio to Rosario was opened to motorists on July 15, 2020.
RELATED: Manila to Baguio in just 3 Hours via TPLEX Pozorrubio Exit (The Fastest Way to Baguio)
WHAT TO BRING: Travel Essentials
Here are some things you might consider bringing with you for your day tour / adventure:
- Stylish face mask
- Water container/tumbler to rehydrate
- Sunscreen for skin protection
- Goggles for swimming or snorkeling
- Stylish Swimsuit
- Travel backpack / luggage
- Reusable vacuum storage packs
- Selfie stick
- Waterproof phone case
- Acion cam
- Camping tent
- WiFi kit
- Power bank
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TPLEX follows a route that parallels the MacArthur Highway, running through the provinces of Tarlac, Pangasinan, and La Union.
The expressway has four lanes, two per direction, separated by Jersey barriers. Sections by exits, toll plazas, viaducts, and their approaches are illuminated at night. Significant sections are built on embankments overlooking rice paddy fields.
The expressway crosses the four rivers in the Pangasinan province. The rivers along the TPLEX are the Agno River, Binalonan River, Aloragat River, and the Bued River.
The Tarlac–Pangasinan–La Union Expressway starts in Tarlac City as an extension of the Subic–Clark–Tarlac Expressway. The expressway passes through the municipalities of Victoria, Pura, Ramos, and Anao. Significant stretches of the expressway in Tarlac are built on embankments, and existing roads cross through underpasses built on cuts in the embankment. The road passes to Nampicuan and Cuyapo in Nueva Ecija without exit before entering Pangasinan, at the municipality of Rosales.
The Pangasinan segment of TPLEX starts at the Rosales municipality. The expressway then crosses through a viaduct over the Agno River, then enters Urdaneta, which is served by a single interchange to connect with Manila North Road. The Urdaneta exit was the expressway's northern terminus before the extension to Binalonan. Past Urdaneta Exit, TPLEX crosses above the Manila North Road, then passes over Binalonan and Pozorrubio. The last exit in the province is Sison, still under construction and not yet included in the opening of the main carriageway.
Past the Sison exit, the expressway crosses as a viaduct over the Bued River. The road then enters the Rosario municipality, where the main northern toll plaza is located. Past the Rosario toll plaza, a spur road connects to the Rosario rotunda. This is the expressway's northern terminus. Proposals have been raised to extend the project to Laoag in Ilocos Norte.
TPLEX CONCEPTION AND CONSTRUCTION
Despite calls to create an expressway system from the Philippine capital of Manila to Rosario, the southernmost town of the La Union province had been raised before the turn of the millennium. These calls began to bear fruit in the mid-2000s. In 2005, construction began on the Subic–Clark–Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), a linked expressway system reaching Tarlac City. This was an improvement over the North Luzon Expressway's terminus which reached only to Mabalacat, Pampanga.
In 2006, Congressional representatives from Northern Luzon took advantage of the final reading of House Bill 5749 to lobby for a project to extend the expressway to Rosario, as a means to boost trade, tourism, and reduce travel times in the provinces of Tarlac, Eastern Pangasinan, and La Union. This lobbying led the Arroyo administration in October 2006 to announce a ten-year plan to extend the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) from Mabalacat, Pampanga, to Rosario, La Union, and extend the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) from Calamba, Laguna, to Lucena in Quezon, and eventually to Matnog, Sorsogon.
In 2008, the SCTEX was formally opened, setting the stage for developing the TPLEX, which would extend beyond the SCTEX's terminus in Tarlac City. The initial construction plan for the TPLEX called for it to be implemented in two phases: The first phase would involve constructing two lanes, with the second phase expanding it to four lanes to accommodate 25,000 vehicles.
The proposed superhighway would be built parallel to MacArthur Highway, passing through the city of Tarlac and the municipalities of La Paz, Gerona, Victoria, Pura, Anao, and Ramos in Tarlac, Nampicuan and Cuyapo in Nueva Ecija and Rosales, Villasis, Urdaneta, Binalonan, Laoac, Pozorrubio, and Sison in Pangasinan, and Rosario, La Union.
TPLEX Phase 1 & 2
The first phase of the Tarlac-La Union Expressway started in January 2010. In April 2013, San Miguel Corporation announced that the segment from Tarlac City up to Urdaneta will be built with four lanes, instead of the initial plan of two lanes only. However, this also pushed back the opening day of the expressway from June 2013 to November 2013.
On October 25, 2013, the Toll Regulatory Board authorized the issuance of the Toll Operation Permit for the Tarlac City–Pura segment of the TPLEX after the construction of that segment was completed by Private Infra Dev Corp. (PIDC), the all-Filipino consortium backed by conglomerates San Miguel Corporation (SMC) and DMCI Holdings, Inc.
This first phase, referred to as section 1A, begins with a connection to SCTEX, then stretches 17 kilometers (11 miles) from Tarlac City to Victoria, and then to Pura, Tarlac.
On December 23, 2013, the expressway opened up to Ramos, Tarlac, bringing TPLEX up to 23 kilometers (14 mi) of its operational length. On April 16, 2014, phase 1 of the project was completed when the Rosales section was opened. In December 2014, phase 2 of the project, covering 13.72 kilometers (8.53 mi) from Carmen to Urdaneta, was opened to traffic, as what PIDC president Mark Dumol had announced on the day the completion of phase 1 was announced.
TPLEX Phase 3
In December 2014, Dumol projected that the last section, covering 25.83 kilometers (16.05 mi) from Urdaneta to Rosario and including an exit in Pozorrubio, would be completed some time in 2015. However, there were delays in the implementation of the project, which included a highly disputed proposal to divert the exit 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) away to San Fabian in Pangasinan. The DPWH and the PIDC announced in July 2015 that they will continue to follow the original plan for the last phase exiting in Rosario, adding that this last phase would be completed by the following year, 2016.
This development phase was further subdivided into phase 3A, from Urdaneta to Pozorrubio, and phase 3B, Pozorrubio to Rosario. Section 3A would include trumpet-type interchanges at Binalonan and Pozorrubio, while section 3B include an interchange at Sison and the roundabout-style terminus interchange in Rosario, La Union.
After the opening of the exit at Pozorrubio in December 2017, the DPWH said segment 3B from Pozorrubio to Rosario is expected to be completed in June 2019.
By mid-August 2016, the first exit of section 3A, at Binalonan Exit, had been opened to the driving public.
By December 6, 2017, the last exit of section 3A, at Pozorrubio, Pangasinan, had been opened to the driving public.
In September 2016, DPWH said this exit of section 3A, which covers the 7.53 kilometers (4.68 mi). from Binalonan to Pozorrubio, was supposed to open in December 2016. The Binalonan to Pozorrubio section was expected to open around October 27, 2017, but the section did not open on that date due to the minor right-of-way issues on the missing 1-kilometer (0.62 mi) fence.
By July 15, 2020, the Pozorrubio to Rosario segment of the expressway opened to motorists, with the exception of the Sison exit, which was still under construction as the main carriageway opened.
La Union extension
As a part of the project of increasing the 200 kilometers (120 mi) radius of High Standard Highways of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) into a 300 kilometers (190 mi) radius from Metro Manila, the expressway will be extended to the city of San Fernando, La Union.
There are also plans to move the extension terminus to San Juan, La Union and will be divided into three segments, namely:
- Segment 1 - Rosario to Tubao (18km)
- Segment 2 - Tubao to Naguilian (23km)
- Segment 3 - Naguilian to San Juan (18.4km)
On June 11, 2013, at the San Miguel Corporation annual stockholders meeting, Chairman, Eduardo Cojuangco Jr., revealed plans to extend the expressway north to Laoag, Ilocos Norte. He said that extending the toll road to Laoag had been raised during the Arroyo administration.
- CLLEX/Tarlac City - access to Cabanatuan, Clark, Subic, Olongapo, Manila
- Tarlac City (La Paz) - access to Tarlac City, La Paz, Santa Rosa, Cabanatuan
- Victoria (Talavera) - access to Tarlac—Victoria Road — Victoria, Talavera
- Pura (Gerona)
- Ramos (Paniqui)
- Anao (Moncada)
- Carmen (Villasis)
- Tomana (Villasis)
- Urdaneta (Dagupan)
- Binalonan (Manaoag Church)
- Pozorrubio (San Jacinto)
- Rosario - access to Rosario, Pugo, Baguio, San Fernando, Vigan, Laoag
San Juan, La Union extension
- Tubao - access to Aspiras–Palispis Highway – Tubao, Agoo, Pugo, Baguio
- Naguilian - access to Naguilian Road – Naguilian, Burgos, Baguio
- San Fernando City
- San Juan
TPLEX TOLL FEE RATES
The Tarlac–Pangasinan–La Union Expressway uses a closed road tolling system where motorists pay tolls according to vehicle class and kilometers travelled. Here are the TPLEX toll fees you have to pay if you’re on your way up north.
TPLEX Toll Rates - Class 1 Vehicles
On April 8, 2019, the Auto-sweep electronic toll collection (ETC) system, an RFID enhanced toll system, was implemented at TPLEX. This ensures interoperability with other SMC-operated tollways and those of MPTC's such as NLEX SCTEX.
ATTRACTIONS TO SEE IN MANILA
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About TPLEX
- How do I get to Baguio by car via TPLEX?
To get to Baguio, you need to drive straight from the Junction and then stay on the right side when you reach the Pugo-Rosario Road.
- Is TPLEX complete?
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) officially opened the final section of the 89.21-kilometer Tarlac Pangasinan La Union Expressway (TPLEX) in 2020.
- What is the last exit of TPLEX?
The last exit in the province is Sison.
- Is there a stop over in TPLEX?
The stopovers that you can find in the Tarlac- Pangasinan-La Union (TPLEX) are Tarlac City Exit, Victoria Exit and Pura Exit.
- Can I use Easytrip in TPLEX?
Only Autosweep RFID can be used at Skyway, SLEX, NAIAX, STAR Tollway, MCX, and TPLEX.
OTHER TOLLWAY / EXPRESSWAY IN PH
- North Luzon Expressway (NLEX)
- South Luzon Expressway (SLEX)
- Skyway Stage 3
- Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX)
- Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR)
- Manila-Cavite Expressway (CAVITEX)
- Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway (NAIAX)
- Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX)
- Cebu–Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX)
- Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEX)
- Quezon-Bicol Expressway (QueBEx)
ACTIVITIES AND TOURS IN MANILA
OTHER TRANSPORTATION INFO IN PH
- List of Bus Terminals in the Philippines
- Metro Manila Bus Transit Map
- List of Ferry Operators in the Philippines
- List of Airlines in the Philippines
- List of Airports in the Philippines
- List of Railways and Metro Rail Lines in the Philippines
- List of Major Roads in Metro Manila
- List of Expressways and Tollways in the Philippines
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