THE construction of the Skyway extension at South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) is expected to be finished by September or October next year, two to three months ahead of the initial target completion date.

“By next year, September or October, we will complete the Skyway Extension. This will solve northbound and southbound traffic congestion once and for all,” San Miguel Corp. (SMC) President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon S. Ang was quoted as saying in a statement on Saturday.

SMC manages the Skyway Operations and Maintenance Corp. (SOMCO) which is currently undertaking a P10-billion extension on both directions of the Skyway from the toll plaza of the main line linking to Susana Heights. Construction of the four-kilometer elevated viaduct started in June and was initially scheduled for completion by December 2020.

Once completed, the project’s three new northbound lanes will be able to accommodate an additional 4,500 vehicles per hour. The two additional southbound lanes will be able accommodate an additional 3,000 vehicles per hour.

Mr. Ang admitted the preliminary work on the project has inconvenienced motorists. He reiterated that the traffic flow along SLEx will normalize by Dec. 1 this year.

“My commitment to you is that by Dec. 1, all preliminary work will be done,” he said, adding that the company has started installing a temporary steel on-ramp connecting the Alabang viaduct to the Skyway.

SMC said the ramp will have two lanes and will be operational by Dec. 1. It will expand the northbound section of SLEx in Alabang from three lanes to five lanes.

“Traffic will not only return to normal levels, it will even improve. That’s because we are also opening the temporary ramp from the Alabang viaduct going up to Skyway. With a total of five lanes northbound, I think we can expect a significant improvement in the traffic,” Mr. Ang said. — Arjay L. Balinbin