The Subic-Tipo Expressway (also known as the Subic-Tipo Road) was constructed from April to October 1996 to provide a direct route into the Subic Bay Freeport Zone without having to go through Olongapo City cutting the travel time by around 30 minutes. This expressway is managed by the Tollways Management Corporation, a subsidiary of the Manila North Tollways Corporation (under the Lopez Group of Companies), which also manages the North Luzon Expressway.
The Subic-Tipo Expressway will be integrated into the larger Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway, which aims to connect the economic zones of Subic Bay, Clark, and Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac City. Currently, the Subic-Tipo Road starts along the Olongapo-Gapan road (which connects Olongapo, Bataan, and Zambales to Gapan in Nueva Ecija passing through the City of San Fernando) in Dinalupihan, Bataan and ends at the Rizal Highway inside the Freeport Zone, totalling about 8 kilometers in length.
I remember passing along this road when I last went to Subic Bay on a family vacation in the late 1990s. What stuck most in my head about the road was the 75-meter-or-so tunnel boring through the mountainside. It’s interesting because this is the only mountain road tunnel I recall ever going through (there are no tunnels along the roads leading to Baguio City). The tunnel’s quite short and so I wondered why the civil engineers that built this road decided to dig a tunnel instead of passing around the mountain slope. I guess the problem is that the road curve would be too sharp and hazardous, especially for the freight trucks that are sure to move goods to and from Subic Bay along this road.