If you travel to and from Alabang, Sucat, and other points in Metro Manila south, you might have noticed how your drive became a little more complicated this week. That’s because the construction of the Skyway’s extension project resumed last Sunday, February 16, 2020.
Construction was supposed to start last December, but was mercifully postponed because of the holidays. (Imagine this adding to the Christmas rush.) The project is led by SMC Infrastructure, which is under Ramon Ang’s San Miguel Corporation. It’s a move to add six kilometers to the Skyway’s current end point in Alabang, stretching the road until the Susana Heights Interchange.
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The extension will add several lanes to the elevated highway: two going south and three going north. This will increase the capacity of the Skyway to 3,000 cars southbound and 4,500 cars northbound. This will also allow vehicles beyond Muntinlupa, in the nearby provinces of Batangas and Laguna, earlier access to the Skyway, and declog the Alabang entry point.
Too bad that’s all still in the relatively distant future, and carmageddon is in the here and now. Ang, in a statement released Wednesday, appealed to motorists’s patience and understanding for what he says will be a temporary inconvenience that will eventually benefit everyone.
“The Muntinlupa City Government, FAI, and Skyway, have come together and are helping each other, to ensure we have a traffic management plan in place, as we work on a long-term solution to traffic,” the SMC president said. “We apologize to you. This project is for your benefit, it will solve our long-standing traffic problem on SLEX and in Alabang. Let’s give our engineers and workers the chance to do what they need to finish the project.”
Closures and alternatives
To make way for the construction, some lanes will be closed near the site. Lane 3, a southbound lane of Skyway At-grade, will be closed off as well as the northbound lane of the West Service Road that leads from the Sucat Interchange to the Alabang Viaduct. The southbound lanes at the Alabang Exit Plaza (beside the viaduct) the Bunye South Station (which leads to Filinvest) will also be closed off.
Alternate routes were also shared in the statement released two days ago which covered Class 1 (cars, jeepneys, vans, pickups, and motorcycles that are 400cc and above), Class 2 (buses, trucks, and Class 1 vehicles with trailers), and Class 3 (large trucks, and trucks with trailers).
For the closure of Lane 3 at Skyway At-grade and West Service Road northbound, the following are advised:
1. Class 1 vehicles that are on Alabang-Zapote Road and are headed for Skyway northbound at-grade should take Filinvest Avenue, turn left at Parkway Street, and turn right to access the tunnel to the Filinvest northbound entry.
2. Class 1 vehicles that are on Alabang-Zapote Road and are headed for Skyway northbound elevated should take Filinvest Avenue, turn left at Parkway Street, and turn right to the access tunnel to the Filinvest northbound entry. Vehicles should then keep right and use the ramp before the Sucat interchange, which is the on-ramp to the Skyway Main Plaza.
3. Class 1 and 2 vehicles that are headed for the East Service Road should take a U-Turn beneath the Alabang Viaduct in front of Starmall.
To compensate for the closures at the Alabang Exit Plaza and Bunye South Station, the following traffic scheme will be imposed:
1. Class 1 and 2 vehicles headed for Alabang or Alabang-Zapote Road should take the Filinvest Exit Toll Plaza, turn right at Corporate Avenue, then turn right at Civic Drive, and then turn right at Corporate Avenue again before finally turning right at the Alabang-Zapote Road.
2. After exiting at Filinvest, Class 1 vehicles headed for Alabang-Zapote Road, Filinvest, or Daang Hari has also the option of either going straight down Filinvest Avenue or turning right at Corporate Avenue. From either avenues, vehicles can turn left at Commerce Avenue and then either right at Filinvest or left at Alabang-Zapote road depending on your destination.
In the next six weeks, workers will engage in bored piling and column installations, but the entire expansion project is expected to finish by the end of 2020.