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12 facts you should know about the newly-completed Skyway 3

Ronald de los Reyes

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The 18-kilometer Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 has finally been completed after years of construction delays and right-of-way issues.
Now, the dream of connecting the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and the South Luzon Expressway is slowly becoming a reality.
The elevated expressway is slated to traverse from Buendia in Makati to Balintawak, Quezon City, and vice versa.
But before the much-awaited expressway opens to the public before the year ends, here are 12 realities about it.
1. The project started in 2014
The construction project was first started under former President Noynoy Aquino’s government and was initially targeted to finish by 2017.
2. Original alignment did not materialize
The initial aligned plan for the elevated expressway was from Zamora flyover, crossing the Pasig River, to the PUP campus in Manila, passing through Old Sta. Mesa Road and V. Mapa Street.
However; due to right-of-way issues, it was forced to veer from Tomas Claudio Street through San Miguel plant in Pandacan, Manila to Araneta Avenue in Quezon City.
3. They had to improvise
The original plan only consisted of four segments. But with the second modification, they were forced to build a fifth segment at its northern part.
Instead of ending at Balintawak Cloverleaf in EDSA, Segment 5 would cross over EDSA and Quirino Highway’s Camachile and Old Novaliches Flyovers and eventually connect to the Balintawak Toll Plaza at the NLEX in Caloocan.
4. From 14 to 18 kilometers

Clear sky, faster travel The whole structure of Skyway 3 is now complete but motorists will have to wait a little more, that is when the weather improves, to enjoy its use. / PHOTO COURTESY OF SMC

 

The modifications forced them to stretch the elevated expressway from an original length of 14 kilometers to now 18.68 kilometers in total for the Skyway Stage 3—which then opens new possibilities for further expansion projects in the north.
5. A big Pandacan fire caused delays
Early this year, a fire at the San Miguel Yamamura Packaging Corporation plastic plant in Pandacan, Manila caused a 300-m portion to collapse, causing delays in the project.
6. Help decongest EDSA traffic by 20 to 30 percent

The government expects the Skyway Stage 3 to lessen the daily 280,000 vehicles in EDSA by about 100,000 vehicles
7. Lessen travel time
With this, they see travel time from Buendia to Balintawak reduced from two hours down to 15 to 20 minutes.
8. Estimated cost of about P44 billion
Under the public and private partnership between the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and San Miguel Corporation, the Skyway Stage 3 totaled to an estimate of P44 billion.
9. Beat the deadline
The elevated expressway was finally completed just a few days ago, beating its initial deadline of 31 October by about two weeks.
10. More than 13 exits ​
This thoroughfare consists of about 13 exits from Balintawak, 5th Avenue, Araneta Avenue, Aurora Boulevard, Nagtahan, Plaza Dilao, Quirino Avenue and Buendia in Makati.
11. Going cashless
Under the Department of Transportation’s mandate, its concessionaire San Miguel Corporation likewise aims to implement cashless tollway transactions along this expressway.
12. More projects in the pipeline
Aside from the Skyway Stage 3, there are still other projects that have yet to be completed, such as: NLEX-SLEX Connector, Laguna Lake Expressway and North Luzon Expressway Harbor Link, among others.

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