Traffic on EDSA to ease


    Traffic congestion on Epifanio de los Santos avenue (EDSA) is expected to ease with the completion of the P44.7-billion Skyway Stage 3 project that is seen to provide a major boost to the country’s post-pandemic recovery.

    With the full opening of all seven lanes of the 18-kilometer Skyway 3 from Buendia, Makati to North Luzon expressway starting today, a huge number motorists will now have an alternative to EDSA, said Ramon Ang, San Miguel Corp. (SMC) president.

    “At full capacity, with 7 lanes available, Skyway can easily handle 50 percent of EDSA traffic, or 200,000 vehicles per day. Together with the existing Skyway 1 and 2, the Skyway system now has 38 kilometers of elevated expressway with 36 on- and off-ramp access points. This will greatly contribute to decongesting Metro Manila traffic,” Ang said.

    Since its soft-opening last December 29 – free to the public until February 1 – some 71,000 vehicles per day have been passing through Skyway 3, using only the four lanes initially opened.

    Skyway Stage 3 is one of the 25 projects which will be completed under the EDSA decongestion program, according to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

    Mark Villar, DPWH secretary, said traffic in Metro Manila will further ease by next year.

    “When we assumed office in 2016, the congestion level was at 71 percent – the second worst traffic congestion in the world. We were losing P3.5 billion a day due to traffic in Metro Manila. This will no longer be the case in 2022 due to the President’s political will,” Villar said.

    Meanwhile, Ang also committed to President Duterte that SMC will continue to work to further decongest Metro Manila by linking the east and west of the metropolis through the Pasig River expressway (Parex) project.

    Parex, a 19.4-km. six-lane elevated expressway along the banks of the Pasig River, will complete the north-south, east-west link, connecting Radial Road 10 in Manila, EDSA, and Circumferential Road 5 and decongesting Rizal, Cainta and Marikina.

    It will provide a faster, alternative access to the Makati, Ortigas and Bonifacio Global City business districts.

    According to Ang, the project can be completed by 2023.

    Also, Ang said work has started on the construction of the Manila International Airport in Bulacan, a sustainable solution to decongesting air traffic in the country.

    Touted as the single-largest investment ever in the Philippines, the airport project will connect to major thoroughfares in the metropolis. It will have four-parallel runways and modern, world-class facilities.

    Ang set the opening date of the massive airport project for 2025. Two major expressways connecting to the airport will also open by 2023.

    Both the Parex and Bulacan airport projects are to be connected to the Skyway system, further extending the country’s infrastructure network.