AT SLEX: Reopening of 3rd lane to ease traffic

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    Almost done. The new two -lane temporary ramp set to open December 1.
    Almost done. The new two -lane temporary ramp set to open December 1.

    Traffic at South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) is expected to ease by next week with the reopening of the third lane of the Skyway, and the opening of a new, two-lane ramp connecting the Alabang viaduct to the elevated Skyway, according to San Miguel Corp. (SMC)

    “These enhancements will ensure that there will be five lanes available to northbound SLEX vehicles during rush hours, even as we go full blast with construction of the Skyway extension project. Motorists will be able to use the original three lanes at the at-grade section, plus two more lanes at the elevated section,” said Ramon Ang SMC president and chief operating officer.

    This is a considerable improvement from previous conditions, wherein five lanes on the SLEX would narrow to just three at the Alabang viaduct.

    To make this possible, Skyway reconfigured and maximized the first section of the elevated Skyway coming from the Alabang-Zapote road to three lanes, from the original two.

    With the new ramp connecting to the elevated section, northbound traffic from SLEX can be accommodated without significantly impacting traffic coming from the Alabang-Zapote road.

    The advantage of the new three-lane configuration at the start of the elevated portion is that lane assignments can be easily adjusted depending on traffic volume.

    With the December 1 opening on track, SMC is delivering on a promise to reopen the third-lane of the at-grade Skyway before the Holiday rush, and improve Alabang traffic by adding new lanes.

    “We hope that our valued motorists will find these immediate measures satisfactory. Even as we start construction on the Skyway extension–which is meant to be the long-term solution to traffic on the SLEX–we’ve already increased the number of usable lanes to help mitigate and improve traffic,” Ang said.

    “But as with anything new, we expect a period of adjustment for motorists. This may still cause some congestion in the beginning, especially with the sheer volume of vehicles on the SLEX everyday. But we expect the traffic situation to improve quickly once we open,” Ang added.

    Ang said that SMC’s tollway unit is mobilizing all traffic personnel to ensure efficient flow of traffic. They are also increasing the number of signs and providing advisories to motorists.

    Last September 25, Skyway O&M closed one northbound at-grade lane of the Skyway in the Alabang area to start preliminary work of Skyway extension project. The stretch of slow-moving vehicles on that day reached 19 kilometers (kms.), way above the daily average of 10 kms.

    The construction of the P10-billion Skyway extension, an SMC initiative to extend Skyway from Alabang to SLEX near Susana Heights and the Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway (MCX), is set for completion by December next year.

    It will add three northbound lanes and two southbound lanes on either side of the existing SLEX. It will allow both northbound and southbound motorists to bypass the Alabang viaduct.