San Miguel boss promises motorists relief on SLEx at start of holidays

October 17,2019

Elevated sections of the P10-billion Skyway extension project at the Alabang viaduct.      SCREENGRAB FROM VIDEO OF SKYWAY 0&M CORP

The head of the firm building the P10-billion Skyway extension project, which was being targeted by criticisms over daily gridlock on northbound lanes of South Luzon Expressway, promised motorists relief before the start of the holiday season.

“I am very sorry for the inconvenience being caused by its construction,” San Miguel Corp. president Ramon Ang told the Inquirer on Wednesday.

“My promise is that, by December 1, we will be able to restore the use of three lanes for the ‘at-grade’ level of SLEx,” he said.

SMC, the country’s largest conglomerate, is building a new elevated roadway that will run parallel on both sides of SLEx connecting Sucat and Susana Heights to let motorists bypass the congestion-prone Alabang Viaduct and Interchange.

Ang said the five-lane project would unclog the Alabang area “once and for all.”

He said without the new road, planners see the existing expressway to turn into a “parking lot” as 1 million new vehicles were projected to be added to Philippine roads every year.

Once completed in December 2020, the Skyway extension was likely to reduce travel time on SLEx from an average of 45 minutes to just a little over 20 minutes, according to planners.

“Just a little more patience please,” said Ang. “We will soon be able to solve this,” he added.

Latest reports from SMC officials observing traffic flow on Wednesday, Oct. 16, pointed to a significant reduction in road congestion along the route. Travel time from Soldiers Hill, where the Alabang Skyway project starts, being reduced to just 18 minutes, a marked improvement from monitoring numbers last week.

The SMC unit in charge of the project, Skyway O&M Corp., said the new elevated toll road would increase northbound capacity of Skyway by 4,500 vehicles per hour and the southbound side, 3,000 vehicles per hour.

The conglomerate is also nearing completion of its Skyway Stage 3 project which will link the existing 1990s-era elevated toll road seamlessly to Balintawak, Quezon City, and cut travel time from Makati to northern Metro Manila to just 20 minutes.

SMC is also set to start construction before the end of 2019 of the P750-billion Manila International Airport on a 2,500 hectare tract of land in Bulakan, Bulacan, a project seen to be a game changer in the Philippine air transportation industry.

It’s the single biggest infrastructure project in the country’s history by a private or public entity./TSB

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