By EMMIE V. ABADILLA
Work for the southbound section of the over ₱10-billion Skyway Extension Project begins on February 16 as stakeholders – Skyway O&M, the City Government of Muntinlupa and administrators of Filinvest Alabang, Inc. (FAI) – jointly approved a scheme to manage traffic flow for the duration of the construction.
The project will extend the Skyway all the way to Susana Heights and involves the construction of a three-lane, elevated northbound section and a two-lane, elevated southbound section running on either side of the South Luzon Expressway and connecting to the existing Skyway.
It will increase the Skyway’s capacity by 4,500 vehicles per hour northbound, and 3,000 vehicles per hour southbound, giving motorists from Cavite, Laguna, Batangas and beyond, greater ease of travel to, or from, Metro Manila.
The plan involves the closure of one southbound lane (Lane 3) of Skyway at-grade and the northbound lane of the West Service Road from the Sucat Interchange to Alabang Viaduct.
The southbound Alabang exit plaza (beside the Alabang viaduct) and the nearby southbound Bunye South Station (heading to Crimson, Filinvest) will also be closed.
These closures were originally scheduled last month but were deferred due to the holiday season.
Among the work to be done in the area are bored piling and column installation activities which are expected to be completed in six weeks.
Affected motorists, particularly those headed to Alabang or the Alabang Zapote Road, will be rerouted to the Filinvest Exit and through Filinvest City.
The FAI agreed to cooperate, “allowing the traffic re-routing scheme to extend our support to the initiative to finish the Skyway project.”
The City Government of Muntinlupa, together with the Muntinlupa Traffic Management Bureau, also announced their support and thanked Filinvest, Skyway, and other stakeholders for coming together and cooperating on the plan.
“We are once again appealing to motorists for their patience and understanding for the temporary inconvenience they may experience until construction activities are completed in the area,” according to Ramon S. Ang, president of San Miguel Corporation, parent company of SMC Infrastructure, which operates the expressway.
“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,” he reiterated. “This project 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 it.”