SAN MIGUEL Corp. (SMC) on Thursday said it would start work to build a direct link between eastern and western Metro Manila.

“We will continue work to further decongest Metro Manila by linking east and west of the metropolis, through the Pasig River Expressway (Parex) project,” SMC President Ramon S. Ang said in a statement.

Mr. Ang issued the statement after the formal opening of the new Skyway Stage 3 on Thursday. The 18-kilometer toll road connects the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and North Luzon Expressway (NLEX).

Meanwhile, the 19.4-kilometer Pasig River Expressway is a P95.40-billion project that will connect Manila to Rizal province. It will start from Radial Road 10 (R10) in Manila and connect to the South East Metro Manila Expressway at Circumferential Road 6 (C6).

There will be three segments, namely: R10 to Plaza Azul, Plaza Azul to San Juan River, San Juan River to C5 Intersection, and C5 Intersection to C6 Intersection.

Mr. Ang said the project “can be completed by 2023.”

Work has also started for the construction of SMC’s airport in Bulacan, he added.

The airport project, set to be opened in 2025, will also “connect to major thoroughfares in the metropolis,” according to SMC.

“The ongoing Skyway Extension project, which will extend Skyway’s reach in the south, to Susanna Heights, Muntinlupa, is set for completion this year,” it added. — Arjay L. Balinbin