SMC eyes expansion of SLEx, Skyway, NAIAx

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Ramon S. Ang — Photo by Victor V. Saulon

SAN MIGUEL Corp. (SMC) said it submitted to the government a three-year plan to expand toll roads in southern Metro Manila, as a way to address traffic congestion.

In a statement on Wednesday, the diversified conglomerate said it is waiting for government approval of San Miguel Holdings Corp.’s expansion plans for the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx), Skyway system, NAIA Expressway (NAIAx) and the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road.

“All technical studies for the expansion of all our southern Metro Manila toll roads are now complete and ready for construction. We’re just waiting to get final approval for each of these projects from the Toll Regulatory Board,” SMC President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon S. Ang was quoted as saying.

Mr. Ang noted the expansion of these expressways is “long overdue.” “All these projects can be completed within three years, provided government gives us the green light to proceed right away,” he said.

For SLEx, SMC has proposed adding fifth lane each to both the southbound and northbound lanes of SLEx to Calamba exit. It has already started bidding out the construction of the SLEx widening project.

SMC said the project’s first phase, which will cover Alabang to Susana Heights, is estimated to cost P130 million and can be completed by next year.

The remaining section going up to Calamba, meanwhile, is expected to be completed by 2021, once approved by the government “at the soonest possible time,” SMC said.

SMC said it also submitted to the TRB a plan to add two lanes on the elevated Skyway from Alabang to Sucat as well as extend the road to the Alabang viaduct. This will bring the total number of elevated lanes to six (three lanes each way), with provision for a seventh lane.

Mr. Ang said SMC is also planning to build a one-lane ramp from the northbound elevated Skyway towards C-5/BGC, and will take a year and a half to complete.

SMC is also planning to extend the new NAIAx to Bonifacio Global City (BGC), which aims to reduce traffic on the Sales Bridge and cut travel time from the airport to BGC to 10 minutes. The project will include additional NAIAx ramps from the NAIA Terminals 1 and 2 to SM Sucat, where it can connect with the C-5 extension.

The NAIAx is a private-public partnership (PPP) with SMC which opened last year and became fully operational last June.

“These are all just improvements/extensions of existing expressways, so we are hoping that the TRB can review and act on our submissions at the soonest possible time. We’re committed to finishing these on schedule, and we are confident that these projects will greatly improve the traffic situation in Metro Manila,” Mr. Ang said. – Patrizia Paola C. Marcelo