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.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Las Piñas Traffic Enforcers Retrained, Friendship Route Hours Set for Extension

The City Government of Las Piñas announced that all traffic enforcers recently completed a two-day retraining seminar on discipline and proper conduct and behavior in the performance of their duties. The retraining was meant to help them effectively perform the strict implementation of traffic rules and regulations.

The retraining sessions conducted focused on lectures and there was also a workshop aimed to enhance competence and professionalism among the city traffic enforcers, particularly on decorum in the apprehension, issuance of citation tickets, and proper hand signal in manning the road.

The refresher course for the city’s one hundred and eighty traffic enforcers was ordered by Mayor Imelda T. Aguilar which was issued to the City Traffic Management Office (CTMO), in coordination with the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

Mayor Aguilar expressed hope that the retraining would enlighten the city traffic enforcers of their duties and responsibilities in properly dealing with motorists and the commuters. She warned, however, that they would face the full force of the law if they fail to perform their responsibilities.

“Traffic enforcer officials must abide with the traffic laws as mandated, and conduct proper behavior in dealing with the motorists to ensure the safety of commuters, car owners and the riding public,” Mayor Aguilar stated.

The mayor, who added law enforcement agencies, believes that traffic enforcement, in addition to reducing fatalities associated with automobile collisions, might also reduce the incidence of public order crimes.

“There are some proof that the presence of traffic enforcement officers may reduce certain types of crime, assure road safety thereby improving the quality of life for residents,” Aguilar added.

New Friendship Route Hours Starting December 1

With the Christmas season approaching, Mayor Aguilar announced the extension of the number of hours the Friendship Route may be used with the intention of decongesting the major roads of the city.

Effective December 1, 2019, the Friendship Route will be open to motorists from 4AM up to 12 midnight. The planned adjustment will last until January 6, 2020.

For the newcomers reading this, the Friendship Route of Las Piñas City is composed of alternate roadways to ease congestion in the major and secondary roads. The Friendship Route City Ordinance contains a complete list of the roads. Photocopies of the said ordinance can be made at City Hall.

Las Piñas Mayor Aguilar Commits to High Compliance on Clearing Operations

The City Government of Las Piñas announced that Mayor Imelda T. Aguilar confirmed her commitment to rid Zapote-Alabang Road and secondary roads of any obstruction to ensure safety and ease traffic as the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) rated the city with high compliance in road clearing operations.

The Mayor ad her daughter Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery, on Monday again called on members of Task Force (TF) Kaayusan, barangay officials, and homeowners’ associations to sustain the gains of the clearing operations.

The mayor cited the improved flow of traffic along Zapote-Alabang Road which is the city’s main thoroughfare, as well as removal of sidewalk vendors and demolition of overlapping structures, including the unfinished excavations by various service utilities.

“These obstructions must be permanently out from our main thoroughfare and the inner roads since the sidewalks are for the pedestrians and the roads to motorists,” Mayor Aguilar said.

Even before the announcement of the DILG directive, Task Force Kaayusan was already convened by the Mayor in July shortly after her re-election. The task force, composed of the Estate Management and Development Office, City Engineering Office and the local Philippine National Police, being spearheaded by the Mayor’s Office conducted clearing operations to address concerns on traffic and road hazards.

She also ordered the traffic enforcers to strictly implement City Ordinance No. 577-02, which prohibits all forms of traffic violation and obstructions along the roads and sidewalks.

The DILG last Friday posted on its website the evaluation and assessment report on compliance of Metro Manila cities and municipalities to its Circular 121 based on the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte during his State of the Nation Address last July. Las Piñas was among the twelve Metro local government units which got a high performance rating, meaning with 91% to 100% cleared roads and sidewalks.

In a Philippine Star report, the city, along with Valenzuela City, Navotas City, Marikina City, San Juan City, Makati City, Taguig City,  Muntinlupa City and Pateros, received a perfect compliance score from the DILG. Indicators on determining compliance include ordinances issued, use of a road inventory plan, displacement strategies, rehabilitation efforts and direct on-ground clearing operations. In that same report, it is notable that Las Piñas and Muntinlupa are the only South Metro Manila cities that got listed with achieving perfect compliance scores.

 

 

 

 

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.

My Observations: Maynilad’s In-Line Booster Project-Related Digging Along Presidents Avenue, BF Homes, Parañaque

This morning I passed by Presidents Avenue in Barangay BF Homes coming from Parañaque City Hall and along the way I noticed a closed-off portion of the road which was a project of water concessionaire Maynilad.

IMG_20190319_112153~2.jpg
The location of  an early digging (related to Maynilad’s planned in-line booster) at the corner of Presidents Avenue and President Quezon street (according to Google Map). The project will take months to complete and may mean additional traffic congestion due to reduced road space.

I went near it and took a few pictures. As of today – March 19, 2019 – what I saw was an early digging of a portion of the road and clearly there is still a long way to go before Maynilad gets to complete the in-line booster project which, if successful, will prove to be very crucial to the water requirements of the many residents and businesses in and around BF Homes.

A few months ago, I talked with Augusto “Boy” Tejada, the president of the Tahanan Homeowners Association, Inc. (THA) who relayed to me details about the December 2018 meeting between his association, their residents and officials of Maynilad. It was during that meeting when the water concessionaire revealed that they plan to construct a water pressure booster somewhere inside the area of Teoville Village 3 and that construction will take around six months to complete.

More importantly the project was designed to boost the water pressure beyond the current limit of 30 PSI (pounds per square inch) which by today’s standards is no longer sufficient to meet the businesses and household needs. Tejada told me that due to location, elevation and distance away from the main gate of the village, there are houses that had trouble receiving water through the pipelines. Some houses have their second or third floors that water cannot even reach.

IMG_20190319_112243~2.jpg
The mention of the year 2016 on the sign suggests that the project was planned that year but was only executed recently.

As of this writing, Maynilad’s water booster project is planned to not only boost the water pressure (to ensure constant and reliable access to water) but also be linked to the new water filtration plant of the company located in Muntinlupa City.

Improved access to water should translate into better satisfaction for family needs and certain improvements to the many businesses operating around BF Homes.

Until that happens, local residents will have to endure the related hassles like traffic disruptions due to street or sidewalk diggings, the arrival of trucks carrying construction materials, etc.