Traffic on South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) should ease to a great extent today as the new two-lane ramp connecting the Alabang Viaduct to the elevated Skyway, as promised, was opened on Sunday, the head of Asian giant San Miguel Corp. (SMC) Ramon S. Ang expects.
SMC, which operates the Skyway O&M Corp (SOMCO), also reopened the third lane of the Skyway at-grade level that will further ease congestion on the metropolis’ main southern artery.
This is a considerable improvement from previous conditions, wherein five lanes on SLEx would narrow to just three at the Alabang Viaduct.
With the new ramp connected to the elevated section, northbound gridlock from SLEx can be accommodated without significantly impacting traffic coming from Alabang-Zapote Road.
Based on the design of the previous concessionaire, the Alabang-Zapote Road Skyway ramp was originally intended as a one-lane northbound and one-lane southbound structure. When traffic volume swells during rush hours, both lanes are used for northbound traffic.
But with the new three-lane configuration at the start of the elevated portion, lane assignments can be easily adjusted depending on traffic volume.
Thus, even with the new ramp, motorists coming from Alabang-Zapote Road will retain the use of one to two lanes, depending on traffic volume.
During the evening rush hours, when southbound traffic is heavier, all lanes — including the two lanes on the new ramp — can be assigned for southbound travel.
Last week, Ang lauded the government’s efforts to ensure that the construction of the extension of the elevated toll road used by thousands of motorists each day would be completed on time.
He said apart from the Department of Public Works and Highways, the Department of Transportation led by Secretary Arthur Tugade and the local government of Muntinlupa under Mayor Jaime Fresnedi and the city council provided help crucial to complete the project.
“This just goes to show that when we — the private sector, government and the public — cooperate and work together to achieve a common goal, there is nothing that we Filipinos cannot do,” Ang said.
Prelude to bigger projects
The construction of the Skyway extension has aggravated traffic conditions along SLEx, with travel time from areas south of Metro Manila tied up, delaying travel for three to five hours.
These measures, according to SMC-SOMCO, are part of preparations for the construction of the Skyway Extension, a P10-billion SMC initiative to extend the Skyway from Alabang to SLEx near Susana Heights and the Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway.
The Skyway Extension, scheduled for completion in December next year, will extend the elevated highway to the SLEx near Susana Heights and the Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway from Alabang.
The ramp will ease traffic on SLEx by giving motorists access to the Skyway from Susana Heights and the Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway.