Skyway 3 fully operational on Jan. 15, toll-free till Jan. 29

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    The entire 18-kilometer Skyway Stage 3, an elevated expressway from South Luzon expressway (SLEX) in Alabang to the North Luzon expressway (NLEX), is set to be fully operational on January 15, according to San Miguel Corp. (SMC).

    In preparation for the opening, the Skyway management closed off the Skyway 3 from January 13 at 10 p.m. through the whole day of January 14. A full inspection, set-up and staging of the opening, and other pre-opening preparation activities are set.

    SMC said all seven lanes of the expressway will be opened to regular vehicular traffic starting 5 a.m. Friday, following the official opening ceremonies today.

    “Skyway 3 will remain toll-free until January 29, and we look forward to welcoming our motorists and letting them experience seamless travel,” the company said.

    The expressway had a soft opening last December 29 with an initial four lanes already in use, as finishing work continued on the project that has been dubbed a “game-changer” for Metro Manila traffic.

    “We ask for the kind understanding of motorists, as we prepare to officially open Skyway 3. Following the opening, motorists will be able to experience the benefits of all seven lanes and all the features of this game-changing expressway that will reduce travel time from SLEX to NLEX and vice-versa to only 30 minutes. It will also help decongest traffic on Edsa and many parts of Metro Manila,” the Skyway management said.

    Meanwhile, NLEX Corp., which operates NLEX and Subic-Clark-Tarlac expressway, said the new and expanded section of the 8.2-km. Subic Freeport expressway (SFEX) will remain open to motorists from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. until its full completion next month.

    This is to provide continued convenience to motorists already using the new expressway and for those who will be traveling to and from the Subic area.

    Last month, the company mentioned the new SFEX carriageway will only be open for the holidays until Jan. 15, 2021, to give way to the construction of the remaining works.

    However, assessments and recent developments show the new road can stay open during the said hours while there are still works being done in some areas including the portion of Jadjad Bridge.

    “We are keeping the new SFEX road partially open to the motoring public up to its target completion in February. With this, we can continue providing faster and safer access to and from Subic especially for businesses and logistics companies operating in the area as well for tourists,” said Mark Villar, Public Works and Highways secretary.

    The P1.6-billion SFEX capacity expansion project aims to increase the road capacity of SFEX from one lane in each direction to two lanes in each direction with the construction of two additional lanes, bridges and a new tunnel.

    It intends to improve traffic safety, provide additional road capacity, and reduce travel time to and from Subic Bay Freeport.

    From December 28 to January 11, more than 95,000 motorists have been served by the new road.

    The SFEX capacity expansion, once completed, will spur economic growth not just in Subic but in the entire region as well. It is seen to complement Subic’s infrastructure program and help sustain Subic’s position as a globally competitive trade and tourism center. – Myla Iglesias