Skyway 3 set to open in December

Robie de Guzman   •   October 20, 2020   •   1129

MANILA, Philippines – The entire 18-kilometer Skyway stage 3 expressway will have a soft opening in December, the San Miguel Corporation (SMC) announced Tuesday.

SMC President Ramon Ang said the company was confident it would be able to open the Skyway 3 by December despite continuous rains hampering finishing works, including the laying and proper curing of asphalt.

Ang also committed that for the first month, motorists can use the entire stretch of the toll road from Buendia to NLEX for free.

“While we’re still doing a few finishing works, we want the public to be able to use Skyway 3 already and benefit from the convenience and ease of travel that it will bring,” Ang said in a statement.

“We have all waited long for this project, so this is the best way we can welcome everyone, by making Skyway 3 free for one month,” he added.

Skyway 3 connects the South Luzon Expressway and NLEX and will serve as an alternative to EDSA with its access points that traverse Makati, Manila, San Juan, and Quezon City.

The toll road is expected to cut travel time between the country’s two main expressways to just 20 minutes from the 3 hours at present.

“With Skyway 3, we will improve the daily commutes and lives of so many Filipinos. We will lessen their time spent in traffic on the road, we can increase both their productivity and time spent with their families,” Ang said.

“Apart from this, the transportation of goods from north and south Luzon will also be so much easier, faster, and more efficient. This will be a big boost to our economy and support growth throughout the regions,” he added.

For over a year now, SMC also partially opened for public use the Buendia to Plaza Dilao section of Skyway 3. It has remained open and free to date for use by the public without any toll.

After completing the entire structure of Skyway 3 ahead of its October 31 deadline, SMC also earlier announced that it was targeting to deliver the northbound section of the Skyway extension project, which connect SLEX directly to Skyway from Susanna Heights in Muntinlupa, by December.

With this, travel from Susanna Heights through the Skyway System including Skyway 3, all the way to the Balintawak toll plaza of the NLEX, will only take 20 minutes, Ang said.

Meanwhile, travel time from Magallanes to Balintawak will be just 15 minutes; Balintawak to NAIA will be just 15 minutes, and Valenzuela to Makati will only take 10 minutes.

Skyway 3 Nagtahan exit ramps now open

Robie de Guzman   •   April 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Nagtahan northbound and southbound exit ramps of the Skyway Stage 3 have been formally opened to the public on Thursday.

In a statement, SMC President Ramong Ang said that with the opening of the Nagtahan exit ramps, motorists can expect to further cut their travel time to Manila. Even traffic congestion at major thoroughfares commonly used to access Sta. Mesa and other nearby areas, is seen to further ease.

SMC, which fully-funded 100% of the Skyway Stage 3 project, including the acquisition of right-of-way properties and reconstruction of public bridges, to ensure that no government funds or taxpayer money is spent on the project, officially opened the main alignment of the elevated expressway last January.

However, due to right-of-way issues, delivery of some access ramps had to come a little later.

“The concessionaire is taking advantage of the dry season to fast-track the completion of ramps as we want more motorists to reap the benefits of additional interchanges in between Buendia and NLEX,” DPWH Sec. Mark Villar said.

“The timely opening of all interchanges will also further reduce traffic along major NCR roads, most specifically Edsa, Quezon Avenue, Araneta Avenue. Nagtahan, and Quirino Avenue,” he added.

Ang said the northbound ramps that are next to be opened include the Quirino exit (heading to Roxas Blvd.), Quirino entry, Nagtahan entry, E. Rodriguez Entry, and Sgt. Rivera (C3) exit. Meanwhile, southbound access points to be opened soon are the A. Bonifacio entry, Sgt. Rivera (C3) exit, Sgt. Rivera (C3) entry, and Quirino exit.

With the opening of the Nagtahan exits, operational access ramps of Skyway 3 now include: Northbound — Buendia (Zobel) entry, Quirino Avenue exit, Nagtahan exit, Quezon Avenue exit, Quezon Avenue entry, A. Bonifacio exit, and Balintawak exit; Southbound — Balintawak entry, Quezon Avenue exit, Quezon Avenue entry, E. Rodriguez exit, Nagtahan exit, Plaza Dilao entry, and Buendia (Zobel) exit.

Recently, SMC also opened the four-kilometer northbound section of the Skyway Extension project from Susana Heights to Sucat, allowing motorists from provinces south of Metro Manila to directly access the Skyway System without having to go through the Alabang viaduct.

“With the recent opening of Skyway Extension project, motorists from Batangas, Laguna, Cavite now enjoy the convenience of seamless travel to many points in Metro Manila, all the way to NLEX. With work on the southbound section now at an accelerated pace, we are closer to fully realizing seamless connection between southern and northern Luzon,” Ang said.

The opening of the 18-kilometer Skyway Stage 3 reduces travel time from Buendia to Balintawak in just 20 minutes, and Alabang to Balintawak in only about 30 minutes.

The Skyway Stage 3 and the Skyway Extension project are part of SMC’s 38-kilometer elevated Skyway System, which aims to reduce traffic congestion along major thoroughfares including EDSA, and provide a seamless link from the South Luzon Expressway to the North Luzon Expressway.

Toll Regulatory Board approves provisional rates for Skyway 3

Robie de Guzman   •   March 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The provisional toll rates for the Skyway Stage 3 have been approved, the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) on Friday said.

For class 1 vehicles, the provisional toll rates would be:

  • Buendia to Sta. Mesa ₱105.00
  • Sta Mesa to Ramon Magsaysay ₱30.00
  • Ramon Magsaysay to NLEX Balintawak ₱129.00
  • Buendia to NLEX Balintawak ₱264.00

Class 1 vehicles include cars, jeepneys, vans, and pick-ups.

For Class 2 vehicles or buses, trucks, and cars with trailers, toll rates are doubled.

While vehicles under Class 3 or large trucks will have to pay rates thrice the price of Class 1.

The TRB said the provisional toll fee matrix will be published once a week for three consecutive weeks and a bond will be required to be posted by the Petitioner.

“Please note, however, that the approval of provisional toll rates does not automatically mean that the proponent may immediately be given the authority to start collecting toll fees,” the board said.

San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is the private proponent of the Skyway project and is the parent company of CITRA Central Expressway Corporation.

The TRB said that before SMC could collect toll charges, the Skyway Stage 3 has to be at least 95% complete, the project should be able to operate safely and commercially, and that the expressway must be equipped with a toll collection system.

“Upon compliance with the above-stated requirements, the publication of the toll fee matrix, and posting of the required bond, a TOP (Toll Operating Permit) may be issued together with the Notice to Start Collection,” the board said.

SMC confirms Skyway 3 to remain open; ramps at 97% completion

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — San Miguel Corporation (SMC) has confirmed that the Skyway Stage 3 will remain open to motorists amid misunderstanding with the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB).

SMC President Ramon S. Ang said he has relayed this commitment to Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade.

In a statement, the SMC said the misunderstanding started when the TRB insisted that Skyway 3 cannot start full operations and collect toll until all ramps are 100% complete.

Ang reiterated that their supplemental toll operation agreement with the TRB states that the SMC can begin collecting at 95% completion of construction.

Ang reported that the ramps are at 97% completion. He also reiterated the need for collection for maintenance and to speed up the completion of the ramps.

“We need sufficient funds for the toll road’s daily maintenance, proper long-term upkeep and to keep it safe and efficient for the motoring public. As Skyway 3’s losses have been mounting because TRB keeps delaying the start of toll collection, the quickest way for our infrastructure unit to speed up 100% completion of the ramps would have been to close Skyway 3,” Ang said.

The SMC previously announced that the 18-kilometer elevated expressway will be closed beginning Tuesday (March 16) in compliance with the TRB directive that all ramps should be completed. However, the TRB clarified it did not issue a directive on the indefinite closure of Skyway Stage 3.

Ang also noted the concessions they have to make in the interest of the public.

“Skyway 3 is new, but heavy everyday use causes it to deteriorate if not maintained properly. We spend a lot for its upkeep, and at the same time lose a lot in foregone revenues. We cannot operate this and serve people if the project is not generating revenues,” he added.

The SMC had also revised the originally proposed fare matrix to significantly lower toll rates, to ensure that motorists will not bear the heavy burden of high toll fees, especially amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Basically, we have done everything to make sure we can viably operate Skyway 3 right away, so we can serve motorists and fulfill our goal, which is to lessen traffic in Metro Manila and hopefully, through better connectivity, create more jobs and economic opportunities for more Filipinos,” Ang added. -AAC

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