The opening of the Skyway Stage 3 project is being eyed by April next year in a bid to lessen up to half of EDSA’s vehicle load, according to SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang.
“We want to eliminate chokepoints and give motorists a seamless connection from north to south and vice-versa,” Ang said.
The Skyway Stage 3 project stretches from Gil Puyat in Makati through San Juan, Manila, and Quezon City up to North Luzon Expressway (NLEX).
Ang commented that EDSA has been the lone connector between northern and southern Luzon – despite the growing number of vehicles adding up annually on EDSA. Around one million cars are added to the annual volume of Metro Manila’s busiest thoroughfare.
“Today, travel time between Balintawak up to Buendia in Makati takes several hours. With the Skyway Stage 3, that will only take 15 minutes. Motorists from the south can also go directly to any point in Makati, Manila, Quezon City, and bypass Alabang and EDSA,” Ang said.
The SMC executive said that the opening of the project can take out up to half of the vehicles traversing EDSA.
“That is why we are asking for just a little more patience and cooperation from the public. This is for all of us – a solution to our longstanding problem of traffic. If we do not do this now, for sure, the situation will be much worse for all of us in the very near future,” Ang said.
Meanwhile, Ang reiterated his apology to motorists being affected by the Skyway Extension project.
He said that significant improvement in the traffic flow along South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) will be experienced next month once a new two-lane ramp from Alabang to Skyway becomes operational. The temporary steel on-ramp that the company has started to install to link the Alabang viaduct to the Skyway would be done by Dec. 1.
The two-lane ramp will expand the northbound section of SLEX in Alabang from three to five lanes.
“This is the main reason why we are building the Skyway extension. We want to make the northbound and southbound sections five lanes each all throughout,” Ang said.
“The limitation in the original design of the SLEX is that it has five lanes coming from Susana Heights heading to Alabang. However, this narrows to four lanes at the Alabang viaduct and connects with the Skyway at-grade that has only three lanes. This is the main reason why Alabang has always been a chokepoint for traffic,” he added.
Motorists have been experiencing heavy traffic along the northbound lane of SLEX since Sept. 24 with the closure of its outermost lanes after the Alabang viaduct. – Richmond Mercurio