SMC completes Skyway 3, to start work on Bulacan airport by yearend

TRAVEL from SLEX to NLEX is expected to take only 20 minutes.

THE Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 project that links Gil Puyat Ave. in Makati City to the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) toll plaza in Balintawak, Quezon City is now complete, San Miguel Corp. (SMC) said.

The 17.93-kilometer elevated expressway was “done ahead of the original October 31 schedule,” the company said in an e-mailed statement.

“With Skyway 3, travel from SLEX (South Luzon Expressway) to NLEX will now only take 20 minutes, from around three hours previously. Magallanes to Balintawak will only take about 15 minutes, Balintawak to Ninoy Aquino International Airport also only 15 minutes, and Valenzuela to Makati in just 10 minutes,” it added.

SMC President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon S. Ang said the new expressway is not yet open to the public, as “finishing works” are still being done.

“We just have to wait for the weather to improve so we can make sure that the asphalt will cure properly. That and a few more finishing touches are all that’s needed, and then we can open soon,” Mr. Ang said.

The project has five sections: Gil Puyat Ave. (formerly Buendia Ave.), Makati – Quirino Ave. – Nagtahan; Nagtahan – Aurora Blvd./Ramon Magsaysay Ave.; Ramon Magsaysay – Quezon Ave.; Quezon Ave. – Balintawak, Quezon Ave.; and Balintawak, Quezon City – NLEX Footbridge.

SMC added it also plans to finish the northbound section of the Skyway Extension project, which aims to provide additional lanes and connect SLEX to the Skyway near Susanna Heights and the Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway “by December.”

SMC said separately the groundbreaking for the Bulacan airport project is going to take place “by the end of the year.”

The Senate approved on Monday the franchise bill for the construction and operation of the P740-billion Manila International Airport project in Bulacan.

SMC hopes the project will generate more than a million direct and indirect jobs, and once completed, create up to as much as 30 million tourism jobs nationwide.

San Miguel will also build an expressway that will link the airport to NLEX and a rail link through Metro Rail Transit-7.

The airport targets to have an annual capacity of 100 million travelers, which the government hopes will help decongest Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City. — Arjay L. Balinbin

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