Traffic relief on SLEX eyed in Nov.

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    San Miguel Corp. (SMC) tollways unit Skyway O&M Corp. (SOMCO) is expected to complete preliminary works for the P10-billion Skyway phase 1 project by November this year to help decongest traffic at the South Luzon expressway (SLEx) and the Skyway before Christmas.

    Manuel Bonoan, SOMCO president, said motorists will then be able to use the third lane of a portion of the SLEX that is currently closed due to the preliminary works.

    We have to be aggressive with the schedule as it is our best ‘window’ to complete preliminary road works before peak traffic season,” Bonoan said.

    He added the present “window” also gives the company a better chance of fully completing the project by its target date of early December next year – again before the Christmas rush.

    The project is part of Phase 1 (Muntinlupa to Susana Heights) of the Skyway extension masterplan, designed to decongest traffic along SLEx and Skyway, which serve populous provinces south of Metro Manila such as Cavite, Laguna, Batangas and beyond.

    The company said it is targeting completion of the entire Phase 1 by December 2020.

    Traffic is expected to worsen as current vehicle volume of about 1 million cars increases every year, especially with the growth in residential developments and business locators in Cavite, Laguna and Batangas, Bonoan said.

    Under the plan, both the northbound and southbound lanes of the Skyway will be extended all the way to Susana Heights. As such, it will also allow for direct access to and from the Muntinlupa-Cavite expressway (MCX).

    This will add an estimated 4,500 vehicles per hour capacity to the northbound expressway, and around 3,000 vehicles capacity per hour, southbound.

    “Again, our aggressive target to complete Phase 1 is by December next year. There are possible causes of delay: right-of-way issues, moving of pipelines, power lines, and the like. However, with the leadership and full support of government, we’re confident we can still fast-track and complete it in a relatively shorter period of time,” Bonoan said.