Friday, August 23, 2013
30 Minutes Delay but Great Ribs
Comment from a reader: I just made the drive from Clark to Subic, via the official detour. A few points:
1. With no traffic (I traveled after midnight) it is exactly an extra 30 minutes from the time you pull off at Clark South until the time you re-enter at Porac.
2. There are no signs pointing out the detour so it only works if you know your way. For those who have lived in the area a while and know the Friendship road, it is pretty simple. Just take Friendship to Porac and you'll see SCTEX signs.
3. New, smooth roads have been built in Porac to connect to the highway but they have been cut through remote areas. At night, it is a pretty long, dark, lonely stretch to get to the highway. No houses, no tricycles, no civilization at all. Don't stop for anyone.
In the rainy season, it is still better to take SCTEX from Clark to Subic and vice versa, rather than taking the old back road to Angeles, which has flooded areas and traffic. As for coming from Manila to Subic and vice versa, the extra 30 minutes should mean that the Olongapo-Gapan road, which is the more direct route, would be faster, but alas that road is still pretty screwed up. One heavy truck blocking the lane and you'll lose two hours.
The bottom line: Even broken, SCTEX is still better than the alternatives.
The good news: There is talk of putting up a temporary bailey bridge while the repair work is done. That would be the best solution though it will cause a traffic jam at times. Also good, the detour requires that you drive by O'Beavers, on Friendship, the best smokehouse north of Manila.