Skyway 3 construction to be accelerated

from a report by Zen Hernandez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 22 2014 06:47 PM | Updated as of Jan 23 2014 02:47 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Construction of the P26.7 billion Skyway Stage 3 project, which will connect the North Luzon Expressway and the South Luzon Expressway, will start in April.

Government officials are vowing to pursue an accelerated construction plan that will allow the Skyway 3 to be finished by June 2016, before President Aquino steps down from office.

President Aquino appealed for the cooperation of motorists and local government units, since the construction of the project is expected to create more traffic congestion. The 14.8-kilometer road will traverse 4 cities: Makati, Mandaluyong, San Juan and Quezon City.

The Toll Regulatory Board, the office that will oversee the construction of Skyway 3, will be coordinating with the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) for a traffic plan.

According to TRB Executive Director Edmund Reyes, the construction will only occupy the center islands so there will be minimal clearing required.

However, due to the accelerated plan, contractors may want to construct in various spots along the route simultaneously instead of doing it in phases.

At the same time, MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino said they may implement Christmas lanes again, but this will have to be discussed with LGUs, TRB, Department of Public Works and Highways and the contractors.

Skyway 3 is only a part of the Metro Manila Skyway system, which aims to ease EDSA traffic by constructing elevated roads and tunnels.

Tolentino said there are 13 road projects that will overlap at some point, so they will have to come up with a rerouting plan for the entire Metro Manila. A meeting has been set in early February.

Citra to spend P5.4-B this year

Meanwhile, San Miguel's Citra Central Expressway Corp. said it is spending some P5.4 billion for the Skyway 3 project this year.

SMC president and chief executive officer Ramon S. Ang said around 20% of the total P27 billion cost for the NLEX-SLEX connector road would be used this year.
"Usually if you award a project like this you will have to pay a down payment of 20 percent. So 20 percent of [roughly] P27 billion is the initial funding," he said.

He said the project would generate jobs for about 6,000 workers.

Of the total project cost, Ang said 20 to 30% will come from equity shareholders, while 70 to 80% would be sourced from debt.