By Emmie Abadilla
A new two-lane ramp connecting the Alabang viaduct to the elevated Skyway, plus the reopening of the third lane of the Skyway at-grade level on December 1, 2019, will ease traffic flow on the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX).
“These enhancements ensure five lanes are available to northbound SLEX vehicles during rush hours, even as we go full blast with construction of the Skyway Extension project,” San Miguel Corporation (SMC) president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang Wednesday announced.
“Motorists will be able to use the original three lanes at the at-grade section, plus 2 more lanes at the elevated section,” he added. In the past, the five lanes on the SLEX would narrow to just three at the Alabang viaduct.
Hence, Skyway reconfigured and maximized the first section of the elevated Skyway coming from the Alabang-Zapote road to three lanes, from the original two.
With the new ramp connecting to the elevated section, northbound traffic from SLEX can be accommodated without affecting traffic from the Alabang-Zapote road.
The original design of the Alabang-Zapote road Skyway ramp, which the previous concessionaire built, was one northbound lane plus one southbound lane. At certain times in the morning, when traffic is heaviest, both lanes are used for northbound traffic.
Now, with the new 3-lane configuration at the start of the elevated portion, lane assignments can be easily adjusted, depending on traffic volume.
Even with the new ramp, motorists coming from the Alabang-Zapote road will retain use of one to two lanes, depending on traffic volume.
In the evening, when southbound traffic is heavier, more or all lanes – including the two lanes on the new ramp – can be assigned for southbound use.
These measures are part of preparations for the construction of the Skyway Extension, a ₱10-billion SMC initiative to extend the Skyway from Alabang to SLEX near Susana Heights and the Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway (MCX).
Set for completion by December next year, it will add three northbound lanes and 2 southbound lanes on either side of the existing SLEX. It will allow both northbound and southbound motorists to bypass the Alabang viaduct.
With the Dec. 1 opening of the Skyway ramp on track, SMC fulfills its promise to reopen the third-lane of the at-grade road before the Holiday rush, improving Alabang traffic by adding new lanes.
“Even as we start constructing the Skyway Extension, meant to be the long-term solution to traffic on the SLEX, we’ve already increased the number of usable lanes to help improve traffic,” Ang underscored.
“But as with anything new, we expect a period of adjustment for motorists. This may still cause some congestion in the beginning, with the sheer volume of vehicles on the SLEX every day. But we expect the traffic situation to improve quickly once we open.”
Hence, SMC’s tollway unit is mobilizing all its personnel to ensure efficient flow of traffic, increasing the number of signs and providing advisories to motorists.
“We’ve also instructed our teams on the ground to constantly communicate with the communities and villages for traffic matters. In the meantime, we continue to appeal for patience and understanding, as we work on providing a long-term solution to traffic in south Metro Manila,” he concluded.