The Skyway Stage 3 Project was officially launched today by no less than the President Benigno Aquino III. The project will be undertaken by the Citra Central Expressway Corporation (CCEC), a consortium composed of Indonesian Lamtoro Gung Persada, the Philippine National Construction Corporation and San Miguel Corporation.

The PhP26.7-billion project is one of the Aquino administration’s flagship infrastructure programs under the public-private partnership (PPP) initiative. It is expected enhance the economic interaction between the CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) and Central Luzon, which contributes to over 60% of the country’s GDP.

The current Skyway System consists of a 9.5-kilometer elevated road from Buendia, Makati City to Bicutan, Parañaque City and an at-grade 13.5-kilometer section from Magallanes, Makati City to Alabang, Muntinlupa City of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) forming Stage 1, and Stage 2, a 6.88-kilometer stretch from Bicutan to Alabang. 

Skyway Stage 3 will be a 14.8-kilometer six-lane (3x3) elevated expressway that connects the present Skyway Stage 1 in Buendia to Balintawak where motorists will be able to access the North Luzon Expressway without having to pass through city roads, avoiding significant traffic. It will have eight access points: Buendia, Quirino, Nagtahan, Aurora Boulevard, E. Rodriguez, Quezon Avenue, Sgt. Rivera and Balintawak.

President Aquino and San Miguel Corp. president Ramon Ang

"The project is expected to generate up to 6,000 direct jobs as well as 10,000 to 12,000 indirect jobs during construction," said President Aquino.

Full-scale construction of Skyway Stage 3 is expected to begin in April of 2014 and is scheduled to be completed within 36 months. Once completed, tollway operators are expecting the new expressway to reduce travel time from Buendia, Makati City to Balintawak, Quezon City from two hours to about 20 minutes. It is also expect to ease the traffic flow in EDSA by as much as 50 percent.

The new Skyway Stage 3 is separate from the connector road project of the Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corp (MPTDC) called NLEX Segment 10.2, launched on Tuesday. However, the two tollways will have a five-kilometer common alignment from Sta. Mesa to Buendia, which will be financed by Citra. After construction, a 37.5% revenue share will be given to MPTDC as reimbursement for the cost of the common alignment, while the remainder will be kept by CCEC.

According to a report by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), traffic congestion in Metro Manila costs the country PhP2.4 billion in economic and opportunity losses, daily.