San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is planning to soft-open the newly-completed Skyway 3 by December and make it free to all motorists for an entire month in time for the holidays.
In a statement, SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang said that the company is confident that it would be able to open Skyway 3 by December despite continuous rains which hamper finishing works on the expressway. Ang also committed that for the first month, motorists can use the entire 18-kilometer length of Skyway 3 from Buendia to NLEX for free.
“We’re very proud and excited about this project, because it will truly make a big difference to so many people’s lives–especially with our economy slowly opening up and with more vehicles coming back to our roads,” Ang said.
“While we’re still doing a few finishing works, we want the public to be able to use Skyway 3 already and benefit from the convenience and ease of travel that it will bring. We have all waited long for this project, so this is the best way we can welcome everyone, by making Skyway 3 free for one month,” he added.
For over a year now, SMC also partially opened for public use the Buendia to Plaza Dilao section of Skyway 3. It has remained open and free to date for use by the public without any toll fees.
The project, which took a total of six years to complete due to numerous challenges, including right-of-way issues and major changes to its design and alignment, is seen to greatly improve travel times and traffic conditions in and around Metro Manila.
Seamlessly connecting the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) with the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), it will also serve as an alternative to EDSA, with its eight access points that traverse Makati, Manila, San Juan, and Quezon City.
These access points include Buendia, Plaza Dilao, Nagtahan, Aurora Blvd., Quezon Ave., Sgt. Rivera, Balintawak, and NLEX.
Ang also thanked all stakeholders and government partners past and present, for their contributions to making the vision that was Skyway 3, a reality. Privately funded and built by SMC, Skyway 3 was completed at no cost to government, with also no guarantees or subsidies.
Ang emphasized its many long-term benefits to motorists and the economy:
“With Skyway 3, we will improve the daily commutes and lives of so many Filipinos. We will lessen their time spent in traffic on the road, we can increase both their productivity and time spent with their families,” Ang said.
“Apart from this, the transportation of goods from north and south Luzon will also be so much easier, faster, and more efficient. This will be a big boost to our economy and support growth throughout the regions,” he added.
After completing the entire structure of Skyway 3 ahead of its October 31 deadline, SMC also earlier announced that it was targeting to deliver the northbound section of the Skyway extension project, which connect SLEX directly to Skyway from Susanna Heights in Muntinlupa, by December.
With this, travel from Susanna Heights through the Skyway System including Skyway 3, all the way to the Balintawak toll plaza of the NLEX, will only take 20 minutes, Ang said. Meanwhile, travel time from Magallanes to Balintawak will be just 15 minutes; Balintawak to NAIA will be just 15 minutes, and Valenzuela to Makati will only take 10 minutes.