The President made it clear that his administration will build, build, and build. Much of that promise falls on the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) especially since the nation and the capital need many new roads.
Earlier today we joined the DPWH and their Secretary, Mark Villar, to take a look at an important new project that is nearing completion: the first (but probably the most important) segment of the C-5 Southlink.
The C-5 Southlink is a six-lane (three in either direction) expressway that will span a total of 7.7 kilometers, directly connecting the C-5/SLEX terminus to CAVITEX/R-1. In other words, in the near future, we will be able to drive directly from Taguig all the way to the Coastal Road in far less time compared to before.
According to Secretary Villar, the segment that the DPWH will open next month is perhaps the most crucial. It's only 2 kilometers long, but it can solve the problems of one of the most congested areas in the metro: the West Service Road, specifically in the Merville area.
Tagged as C5 Southlink Segment 3A-1, this section of road can solve the area's congestion issues because it is almost literally a “Merville Flyover”. Segment 3A-1 bridges the gap that has existed between C-5 and C-5 Extension; a gap that is occupied by the South Luzon Expressway and the at-grade portions of the Skyway.
Once opened, it will serve as a new primary route for motorists from the West Service Road who want to get to C-5 and drive to Taguig, Pasig and Quezon City, and vice versa. Eventually, Southlink will serve motorists from Cavite, Las Pinas, Paranaque, Taguig, Makati and beyond.
Under the current traffic scheme, motorists in the area have to go to Sales Road to the north or to the Bicutan interchange to be able to cross and get to C-5, a trip that could take anywhere between 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on the conditions. This first crucial segment of the Southlink can easily slash that drive to 5-10 minutes, according to Sec. Villar.
Eventually, by 2021, the DPWH will have completed the entire 7.7-kilometers of the C-5 Southlink with Segment 2 (1.9-km R1 Interchange to Sucat Interchange), Segment 3A-2 (1.6-km Merville to E. Rodriguez), and Segment 3B (2.2-km Sucat to E-Rodriguez).
Using the road will not be free-of-charge though; the Southlink will be managed by CAVITEX, and the toll is estimated to be around PhP 22.
We're not sure if that fee will cover the entire stretch of the CAVITEX C-5 Southlink, but even if it was just for the 2 kilometers to cross from Merville to C-5, we think it's worth it based on time savings alone.