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12 facts about the newly-minted Skyway Stage 3

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THE elevated expressway is set to traverse from Buendia in Makati to Balintawak, Quezon City and back. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF SMC

The 18-kilometer Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 has recently been finally 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 (SLEX) is slowly coming into fruition.

In fact, San Miguel Corporation (SMC) president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang even recently said:

“I’m happy to announce that the whole structure of Skyway 3 is now complete. With this, Skyway 2 in Buendia is now officially extended all the way to the NLEX. After many challenges this project faced in previous years, the dream of connecting north and south and providing an alternative to EDSA is now a reality.”
The elevated expressway is set to traverse from Buendia in Makati to Balintawak, Quezon City and back.

Ang — however — said that the expressway cannot be opened to the public — just yet — as finishing works such as the proper curing of asphalt, have been delayed by continuous, heavy rains.

“We’re very excited to open Skyway 3 to the public. We just have to wait for the weather to improve so we can make sure that the asphalt will cure properly. That and a few more finishing touches are all that’s needed, and then we can open soon,” he added.

The public opening is targeted before the year ends. But before that, here are 12 facts about the Skyway Stage 3 project.

The project started in 2014
The construction project first started under then President Noynoy Aquino’s government and was initially targeted to finish by 2017

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; because of 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.

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 the Balintawak Cloverleaf at EDSA, Segment 5 would cross over EDSA and Quirino Highway’s Camachile and Old Novaliches Flyovers and eventually connect to the Balintawak Toll Plaza of NLEX in Caloocan City.

From 14 to 18 kilometers
The modifications forced them to stretch the elevated expressway from an original length of 14 kilometers to the now 18.68 kilometers in total for the Skyway Stage 3 — which then opens new possibilities for further expansion projects in the north.

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 of the structure to collapse, causing delays in the project.

Help decongest EDSA of traffic by 20 to 30 percent
The government expects that the Skyway Stage 3 will slash the daily 280,000 vehicles in EDSA by about 100,000 vehicles.

Lessen travel time
The travel time from Buendia to Balintawak is seen being reduced from two hours down to just 15 to 20 minutes.

Estimated cost of about P44 billion
Under the public and private partnership between Department of Public Works and Highways and SMC, the Skyway Stage 3 totaled an estimate of P44 billion.

Beat the deadline
The elevated expressway was finally completed just a few days ago, beating its supposed deadline of 31 October by about two weeks.

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.

Going cashless
Under the Department of Transportation’s mandate, SMC likewise aims to implement cashless tollway transactions along this expressway.

More projects in the pipeline
Aside from the Skyway Stage 3, there are still other projects that are yet to be completed, such as: NLEX-SLEX Connector, Laguna Lake Expressway and North Luzon Expressway Harbor Link.

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