SLEx relief promised by SMC boss starts Dec. 1
Conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) will open on Sunday, Dec. 1, additional lanes, including a new ramp, on Skyway to ease the bottleneck that had plagued southbound motorists and commuters, a byproduct of the Skyway extension project that SMC is completing.
SMC chief Ramon Ang had promised to bring relief to motorists and commuters by Dec. 1.
Ang also lauded government efforts to ensure that the P10-billion project would be completed on time.
He said because of a “tight timetable,” SMC could not have completed the new ramp and initial stage of construction without the “bayanihan spirit” shown by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
The Skyway extension project had been blamed for congestion on northbound lanes of South Luzon Expressway, prompting Ang to promise relief at the start of December.
On Sunday, SMC will open a new, two-lane Alabang-Skyway ramp, and the reopen a third lane on a section of the highway.
Ang acknowledged the help given by Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, who “lent us much-needed resources, including bridge construction materials, to ensure that the new ramp will be built on time.”
Once completed in 2020, the ramp would ease congestion on SLEx by giving motorists access to the Skyway from Susana Heights and Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway.
“Northbound lanes will not have up to five lanes during rush hours,” Ang said. He said it was a “ big improvement” from the three lanes available prior to the start of construction.
He said he expected traffic to improve as SMC continues to finish the extension project with a 2020 deadline in sight.
Ang said the local government of Muntinlupa, through Mayor Jaime Fresnedi, and the city council were also a big. help.
“Whatever help we needed, they were there to extend support,” he said.
Before the start of construction in late September, average daily traffic on SLEx would stretch to anywhere between three to 12 kilometers, with much longer jams occurring whenever there were vehicular breakdowns or accidents.
Traffic volume growth was attributed primarily to the growth in population and economic activity in Muntinlupa, Cavite, Laguna and Batangas.
The narrowing from five lanes to three lanes at the SLEx-Alabang viaduct area — which SMC described as a “design flaw inherited from the previous concessionaire” — was also a major cause of daily traffic.
Once completed, however, the new project will provide motorists five lanes northbound and five lanes southbound, and the option to bypass the Alabang viaduct.
Ang added that the DPWH and DoTR have also worked in tandem to make possible the completion by April next year of a much larger undertaking: the Skyway Stage 3 project.
He said with the help of Villar and Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade, right-of-way issues “that were holding back” the Skyway 3 project “for years were immediately solved.”
“This was a major achievement that we are deeply grateful for,” he said.
Ang said that Villar personally made possible the extension of Skyway 3 from A. Bonifacio to the NLEx Balintaway toll plaza.
Edited by TSB
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