By Monch Henares
The Skyway Extension Project was created as a long-term solution to lessen heavy and sometimes standstill traffic at the SLEX-Alabang area, The holiday season is over and work resumes full speed ahead. Let's all prepare ourselves to be patient and look to a future of stress-free travel until this incredible project is finished. As they say, "No Pain, No Gain."
Work for the southbound section of the Skyway Extension Project begins two days after Valentine's day as stakeholders –Skyway O&M, the City Government of Muntinlupa and administrators of Filinvest Alabang Inc.(FAI) – jointly approve a scheme to manage traffic flow for the duration of the construction.
The project, worth over P10 billion, which will extend the Skyway all the way to Susana Heights, involves the construction of a three-lane, elevated northbound section and a two-lane, elevated southbound section that will run on either side of the South Luzon Expressway and connect to the existing Skyway.
It will increase the Skyway’s capacity by 4,500 vehicles per hour northbound, and 3,000 vehicles per hour southbound, giving motorists from Cavite, Laguna, Batangas and beyond, greater ease of travel to, or from, Metro Manila.
The plan involves:
· The Closure of one southbound lane (Lane 3) of Skyway at-grade and the northbound lane of the West Service Road from the Sucat Interchange to Alabang Viaduct.
· Closures of southbound Alabang exit plaza (beside the Alabang viaduct) and the nearby southbound Bunye South Station (heading to Crimson, Filinvest).
These closures were originally scheduled last December but were deferred due to the busy Holiday season.
Among the work to be done in the area are bored piling and column installation activities which are expected to be completed in six (6) weeks.
Full cooperation and support
Affected motorists, particularly those headed to Alabang or the Alabang Zapote Road, will be rerouted to the Filinvest Exit and through Filinvest City.
FAI said it is fully cooperating and “allowing the traffic re-routing scheme to extend our support to the initiative to finish the Skyway project.”
The City Government of Muntinlupa, together with the Muntinlupa Traffic Management Bureau, also reiterated their support and thanked Filinvest, Skyway, and other stakeholders for coming together and cooperating on the plan.
Meanwhile, Ramon S. Ang, president of San Miguel Corporation, parent company of SMC Infrastructure, which operates the expressway, said:
“We are once again appealing to motorists for their patience and understanding for the temporary inconvenience they may experience until construction activities are completed in the area. The Muntinlupa City Government, FAI, and Skyway have come together and are helping each other, to ensure we have a traffic management plan in place, as we work on a long-term solution to traffic,” he said.
“Humihingi po kami ng paumanhin. Ito ay makakabuti sa lahat, at maso-solve po natin ang problema sa traffic sa SLEX at Alabang. Bigyan lang po natin ng pagkakataon ang ating mga engineers at trabahador na gawin ang kailangan para matapos po ito sa madaling panahon,” he added.
(“We apologize to you. This project is for your benefit, it will solve our long-standing traffic problem on SLEX and in Alabang. Let’s give our engineers and workers the chance to do what they need to finish the project.”)
New traffic schemes
For the closure of the toll plazas, the new traffic scheme are as follows:
· Class 1 and 2 vehicles headed to Alabang or Alabang-Zapote Road, take Filinvest Exit Toll Plaza, turn right at Corporate Ave., right to Civic Drive, right again at Corporate Ave., then right to Alabang – Zapote Road towards their destination.
· Class 1, 2 and 3 vehicles bound for Alabang, Putatan, and National Road can take the Susana Exit Toll Plaza, turn right at Susana Heights Ave., and turn either left or right on the National Road to their respective destinations
· Class 1 Vehicles bound for Alabang – Zapote Road, Filinvest, or Daang Hari may choose any of the following routes:
o Take Filinvest exit, straight to Filinvest Ave., left to Commerce Avenue and/or left Alabang - Zapote Road to destination and/or;
o Take Filinvest exit, right to Corporate Ave., left to Commerce Ave., right to Filinvest Ave., left to Alabang – Zapote Road, and/or;
For the closure of one at-grade southbound lane (Lane 3) at Skyway At-grade and portion of West Service Road northbound
· Class 1 Vehicles bound to Skyway NB at-grade, from Alabang-Zapote Road, take Filinvest Ave., turn left to Parkway St., then turn right to the access tunnel to the Filinvest northbound entry.
· Class 1 Vehicles bound to Skyway NB elevated, from Alabang-Zapote Road, take Filinvest Ave., turn left to Parkway St., then turn right to the access tunnel to the Filinvest northbound entry. Keep right and use the ramp before the Sucat interchange (On-ramp to Skyway Main Plaza).
· Class 1 and 2 vehicles bound to East Service Road, take a U-Turn at the Alabang Viaduct Ilalim in front of Starmall.
Skyway Extension will provide direct access to Skyway 1, 2, 3
Set for completion by December 2020, the Skyway Extension Project will add two lanes going north for a total of five northbound lanes, and three lanes going south for a total of four southbound lanes.
It will provide motorists a direct connection to Skyway 1 and 2 and Skyway 3, which is set to open in April.
This will allow motorists coming from the south to bypass Alabang and even Edsa, if they are headed to the airport, Makati, Manila, San Juan, Quezon City, all the way to the North Luzon Expressway.
The company thanked FAI, a private development in Alabang, for its openness to, and cooperation with, the new traffic scheme, saying the company has always had a strong sense of social responsibility.
It also thanked the Toll Regulatory Board and the City of Muntinlupa for their continued support and cooperation with the project."