There is no slowing down the Department of Public Works and Highways. The agency is pushing hard these ber months to open one key project that is projected to have a very positive effect on traffic, especially this holiday season.
That project is the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 (MMSS-3), a toll-road that serves as an extension of the current Skyway that spans from Buendia to Alabang south of the National Capital Region, and will directly connect Makati (Buendia/SLEX) to Quezon City (Balintawak/NLEX).
Earlier today the DPWH, together with Sec. Mark Villar, opened the onramps of the Skyway Stage 3 to us, and we took the chance to give you a sneak peak at this new elevated tollway that the agency says can take about 100,000 vehicles away from EDSA.
The Skyway Stage 3 is intended to span a total of 18.83 kilometers, and will effectively serve as a means for vehicles to bypass the roads of Metro Manila when traveling from north to south or vice versa. Metro Manila motorists can also drive onto the Skyway Stage 3 once completed in order to travel north or south with ease.
Sec. Villar tells us that at this point, the Skyway Stage 3 construction has already surpassed the 75% milestone, and that the DPWH already has almost fully completed their right of way acquisition.
The DPWH and CITRA have already opened the first segment of the Skyway Stage 3 from Buendia to Plaza Dilao in Paco, Manila. As for the rest of the segments, it's full steam ahead for the DPWH and San Miguel Corporation, the parent company of Skyway Stage 3 concessionaire CITRA.
The section of the Skyway Stage 3 that the DPWH wanted to show the media was Segment 3 which spans from SM Centerpoint Sta. Mesa to Quezon Avenue, as well as a small portion of Segment 4 which continues from Quezon Avenue to Balintawak.
The road is still very much under construction as the barriers, on-ramps, off-ramps, lights, and other pieces of the toll road's hardware are still being built. This segment of Skyway is still bare concrete as the asphalt overlay is still not present, but it's already looking promising for the DPWH's deadline.
They say that sometime in December they will have a 95% completion rate, and that means motorists will be able to drive from Buendia to Balintawak (and vice versa) using the MMSS-3. The agency is pushing the project proponents and contractors to make it in time to help alleviate the traffic from the holiday rush.
The DPWH, however, says that the full 100% completion will be by March 2020; the remaining 5% consists largely of the onramps and offramps between Buendia and Balintawak.
According to DPWH Build! Build! Build! Chairperson Anna Mae Yu Lamentillo, the only limiting factor to the Skyway Stage 3's progress is inclement weather. Not only does rain slow down the curing of concrete, for safety reasons the construction halts during a storm or a strong downpour.
Let's hope we get good weather from now until December.