SAN MIGUEL CORP. (SMC) said Thursday that construction of the Skyway extension at the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) will resume today, May 15.

SMC said this will partially mitigate the delay in the delivery of the project, which was halted by two months due to the government-imposed enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

ECQ will be eased to a more relaxed modified ECQ in Metro Manila, though work on infrastructure projects is allowed subject to worker safety rules adopted for the pandemic.

SMC manages the Skyway Operations and Maintenance Corp. (SOMCO), which is undertaking a P10-billion extension on both ends 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 2019 and was initially scheduled for completion by December this year.

The company said it was “unable to determine yet a new completion date, given that only a limited number of workers could be deployed by contractor EEI Corp. as part of the quarantine measures identified.”

SMC President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon S. Ang said: “We have been given the go-signal by the government to resume work on the Skyway extension, and while we cannot yet go full blast, we will do whatever we can to deliver this project as close as we can to the original deadline. We have to work smart, be efficient, and most of all, keep the workers safe.”

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

“For a one-month period, Skyway management said that it will close about 700 meters of Lane 3 of the Skyway At-Grade section northbound from the old Alabang Entry Plaza,” SMC said. — Arjay L. Balinbin