Soft Opening of Skyway Stage 3 this December, Northbound Extension on track for Year-end Completion

Hey fellow South Metro Manila residents and motorists! Do you plan to go to other parts of Metro Manila and further north soon?

Be confident because Skyway Stage 3 (AKA Skyway 3) is set for a soft opening this December and as of this writing the northbound section of the Skyway Extension project is at 70% completed and it should reach 100% by the end of this year. This is not to be confused with Skyway Stage 3’s completion which was in reference to the linking of the northern and southern parts of Luzon. Right now, the people behind the project are working to finish the northbound section for the soft opening. The exact December date for the soft opening still has yet to be revealed.

A portion of the northbound extension of the Skyway within Muntinlupa City. (source – Ramon S. Ang Facebook page)

“We are on track to deliver the northbound section of the Skyway Extension project by December, and with this, motorists from the south can easily access Makati, Manila, San Juan, Quezon City, and the North Luzon Expressway,” said San Miguel Corporation (SMC) president and chief executive officer (CEO) Ramon S. Ang in a press statement.

To put things in perspective, SMC fully funded the project with P10 billion and it is designed to extend the Skyway from Susana Heights on the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) to Sucat and back, and provide direct access to the elevated section of the Skyway. The South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and the Muntinlupa Cavite Expressway (MCX) will get connected to the Skyway at Susana Heights which will bypass Alabang and should result seamless and shorter travel from south to north via the Skyway system.

“Under normal Metro Manila conditions, you will be lucky if you can get from SLEX to the North Luzon Expressway in under three hours. You would have to pass through traffic gridlocks in Alabang, Magallanes, practically the whole of EDSA, or various areas through Manila. With the Skyway Extension and the completed Skyway 3, you can get there in 30 minutes without stopping,” Ang further elaborated.

In addition, motorists coming from the provinces of Cavite, Laguna and Batangas will be able to bypass Alabang which should also ease traffic in Muntinlupa as well as along Alabang-Zapote road.

At this point of time, things are really looking very good as far as Luzon highways and Metro Manila travel are concerned. Being able to travel from Alabang to north of Metro Manila and back with much faster speed and much less stress is something I have always dreamed of. That old dream will soon be realized! Keep an eye on the Skyway and the completion of the extension.

In ending this article, watch and enjoy this very recent Skyway update video.

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COVID-19 Crisis: New 144-bed ‘We Heal As One’ quarantine facility opens in Muntinlupa City

A new “We Heal As One” quarantine facility for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients and suspect cases in Muntinlupa City was formally opened in Barangay Tunasan yesterday. The 144-bed quarantine facility has been constructed by the Department of Public Works and Highways in partnership with the local government of Muntinlupa.

DPWH Secetary Mark Villar, Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, and Mayor Jaime Fresnedi led the blessing ceremony of the emergency quarantine facility amounting to P45-million in Pacwood Site, Brgy. Tunasan.

(L-R) DPWH Secretary Mark Villar, Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi, and DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade inspected the newly constructed “We Heal As One” isolation facility in Pacwood Site, Brgy. Tunasan last October 13. DPWH and Muntinlupa LGU have converted 36 units of shipping containers as isolation rooms for positive COVID-19 patients, suspect and probable cases, and quarters of medical frontliners who will serve in the facility. Each room has a comfort room, air-conditioning unit, and bed supplies. Residents who will occupy the isolation rooms will receive a COVID-19 essentials bag consisting of a hygiene kit, vitamins, medicine, thermometer, bedsheet, pillow blanket, and towels, among others. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

Fresnedi extended his gratitude to DPWH’s assistance for the construction of the additional isolation facility in the city which he notes as an augmentation in the local COVID-19 response efforts.

Also attending the ceremony were Office of Civil Defense Asec Hernando Caraig Jr., City Administrator Allan Cachuela, City Health Officer Dra. Teresa Tuliao, and CHO Isolation Facility Administrator Dr. Juancho Bunyi.

DPWH and Muntinlupa LGU have converted 36 units of shipping containers as isolation pods for positive COVID-19 patients, suspect and probable cases, and quarters of medical frontliners who will serve in the facility.

Each room has a comfort room, air-conditioning unit, and bed supplies. A wi-fi connection will also be installed in the facility. Residents who will occupy the isolation rooms will receive a COVID-19 essentials bag consisting of a hygiene kit, vitamins, medicine, thermometer, bedsheet, pillow blanket, and towels, among others.

The units.
Inside a unit.
A toiled and sink.

The City Government of Muntinlupa is implementing a mandatory self-isolation policy, or admission to city isolation facilities if requirements for home quarantine are not met as certified by the City Health Office (CHO), for anyone who have undergone COVID-19 swab testing.

The stringent measure aims to restrict movement of suspect cases and prevent possible carriers of the virus to travel and infect other individuals.

During the program, Public Works Sec. Villar reported that an additional quarantine facility with 200-bed capacity will be constructed in the Filinvest Tent Parking Area.

Transportation Sec. Tugade lauded the City Government’s hard work in executing surveillance, isolation, and treatment protocols, and its efforts towards the fight against COVID-19.

Further, he said that the city’s request for the opening of Susana Heights – MCX Access Road has been approved by the DPWH and DOTr and is expected to be accessible by December.

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Latest City Government of Muntinlupa details sourced from their official media release. Some parts were edited for this website.

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake newsNO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiaristsNOT to distorted views and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, engagements, commerce and updates, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

New Skyway Ramp to Open on December 1

Hi everyone! Have you been struggling with the constant heavy traffic along the northbound lane of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) since September due to the construction of a Skyway extension project (planned to reach Susana Heights) within the Alabang viaduct area?

Well here are the good news: effective December 1, 2019, the third lane of the at-grade level of the Skyway will be re-opened and the brand new, two-lane ramp connecting the Alabang viaduct to the elevated Skyway will be opened to the public!

The anticipated developments should result an improvement of the flow of traffic going north.

“These enhancements will ensure that there will be five lanes available to northbound SLEX vehicles during rush hours, even as we go full blast with the construction of the Skyway Extension project. Motorists will be able to use the original three lanes at the at-grade section, plus 2 more lanes at the elevated section,” San Miguel Corporation (SMC) president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang said according to the press release.

Due to the construction of the new ramp started this past September, traffic worsened as road space was reduced. What used to be five lanes on the northbound direction of the SLEX at the Alabang viaduct was narrowed down to three lanes. The City Government of Muntinlupa itself implemented a one-way traffic scheme along the east service road in connection to the construction.

Skyway managers made the hard adjustments by reconfiguring and maximizing the first section of the elevated Skyway coming from the Alabang-Zapote road to three lanes, from the original two.

The operators stated that with the new ramp connecting to the elevated section, northbound traffic from SLEX can be accommodated without significantly impacting traffic coming from the Alabang-Zapote road.

It was pointed out that the original design for the Alabang-Zapote road Skyway ramp, built by the previous concessionaire, is one lane northbound and one lane southbound. At certain times in the morning, when traffic is heaviest, both lanes are used for northbound traffic.

As such, they emphasized that the advantage of the new three-lane configuration at the start of the elevated portion is that lane assignments can be easily adjusted depending on traffic volume. Even with the new ramp in effect, motorists coming from the Alabang-Zapote road will retain the use of one to two lanes, depending on traffic volume.

With regards to night-time southbound traffic, which normally gets heavy, more or all lanes—including the two lanes on the new ramp–can be assigned for southbound use.

To put things in perspective, the Skyway Extension project is an initiative by SMC worth P10 billion designed to extend the Skyway from Alabang to SLEX near  Susana Heights and the Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway (MCX). Completion of the whole project is set for December 2020. By then , there should be three additional northbound lanes and two southbound lanes on either side of the existing SLEX. It will allow both northbound and southbound motorists to bypass the Alabang viaduct.

This is welcome news and there should be relief starting Sunday (December 1).

In my personal experience, I work at an office in Calamba, Laguna and since September 25, traveling back to Alabang became more challenging due to the increased traffic congestion. Many times, the tail-end of the traffic jam going north along SLEX reached the Susana Heights area. Some times, the tail-end was at the Southwoods exit.

We will soon find out starting Monday how the promised benefits of the new Skyway ramp will improve the northbound flow of vehicles.


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My Observations: Muntinlupa City to Implement New Traffic Scheme No Later than October 13

Since the start of the construction of the Skyway extension project on the evening of September 24, traffic got worse on the northbound lane of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX). The result? The construction – which resulted eating up road space – made traffic more congested than before. As I drove on the way to the office in Laguna on September 25, I saw many vehicles (heading north) jammed together tightly from the Alabang viaduct up to around twenty kilometers going south in the jurisdiction of Laguna.

And then I later experienced the hardship of being in the traffic jam going back to Alabang that same day. The trip home took an additional one hour and twenty minutes for me.

The next day, it took me more than an hour again to reach Alabang from Laguna going home. Only this time, I took the exit to go to the Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway (MCX), turned to Daang Hari and go to Alabang. On the other side of the SLEX, motorists traveling north took the exit going to the National Road of Muntinlupa. National Road is composed of only four lanes, take note.

As the Skyway operator confirmed that the project construction will last until late 2020, we the motorists have no choice but to accept the new reality that the worsened traffic will be the new normal along the SLEX.

The City Government of Muntinlupa noticed this problem. The construction also affected the East service road’s traffic which caused inconvenience to the businesses and residents who often travel there.

This is why today (September 30), the City Government formally announced the implementation of a one-way traffic scheme at the East service road no later than October 13. The purpose of this new move is to address, and hopefully ease, the heavy traffic motorists are experiencing.

Already a consultation was organized by Traffic Management Bureau chief Danidon Nolasco with representatives from San Miguel Corporation Tollways, EEI, transport groups, and subdivisions and companies situated the East service road.

Nolasco said SMC Tollways anticipate at least 14 weeks to finish the construction of the extension project with the currently imposed stop-and-go traffic scheme. He added that construction period will be reduced by half if a one-way traffic scheme will be enforced.

Motorists are advised that a northbound one-way traffic route will be implemented at the East service road from Alabang viaduct going to Sucat Interchange on or before October 13. While, the West service road and Baybayin will remain two-way in traffic as usual.

The representatives of the business establishments located in the area agreed to the new rerouting plan and requested that the new traffic scheme to be disseminated and implemented immediately.

As for the Skyway extension project along the East service road, EEI Project Manager Joe Ilagan said at least forty-one columns will be erected and the project’s bored piles and columns will be situated in between the service road and expressway. This is why road space is reduced resulting worse traffic on both the service road and the northbound lane of the SLEX.

The elevated toll road extension project from Sucat skyway off-ramp to Soldiers Hills, Muntinlupa is expected to be completed by December 2020.

Until that project is completed and traffic relief is realized, we motorists really have to adjust ourselves and be more patient using the SLEX. Heavy traffic obviously costs the nation’s economy (and us, the people) a lot of money and time. Imagine all the appointments, all the planned flights, all the opportunities get lost because SLEX northbound traffic prevented people from reaching their respective destination.

As the Christmas season approaches, vehicular traffic will get even worse due to the anticipated rise in business transactions related to Christmas-related spending. Take for example, the many commercial joints here in South Metro Manila. People will go out to the shopping malls (in Parañaque, Muntinlupa and Las Piñas), the bazaars and in BF Homes to buy items for gift-giving. Trucks will be going around to deliver food (example: catering), hardware and other ordered products.

Better start getting used to the new normal along SLEX. Plan your moves ahead of time as well.