Two days ago, a portion of Skyway Stage 3 was damaged by a huge fire that gutted a warehouse owned by San Miguel Yamamura Corporation (SMYC), a subsidiary of San Miguel Corporation that (ironically) is a proponent of the elevated expressway.

It was set to be opened come April 1, 2020, but a 300-meter portion of the expressway collapsed due to the recent blaze. In a statement, SMC president and CEO Ramon Ang vowed that construction of the yet-to-be-completed Skyway Stage 3 will now be 24/7 in order to meet the new July 2020 deadline.

“We are saddened by this unfortunate incident mainly because it will delay a vital infrastructure project that would have alleviated traffic woes of our motorists sooner. But rest assured, we will work 24/7 to endeavor to complete the entire project in five months. This is just a 3-month delay from the original opening target,” said Ang.

Based on SMC’s initial investigation, last Sunday’s fire was a freak accident that might have likely originated from the DMCI construction yard that eventually spread to the nearby plastics warehouse.

Skyway Stage 3 opening pushed to July, to be constructed 24/7 image

However, SMC said that the warehouse was already in the process of being relocated out of the area. The company also mentioned that they planned to use the Pandacan property in order to build an integrated transport and food terminal that aims to further decongest Metro Manila traffic.

“We continue to liaise with the concerned authorities to address all issues pertaining to the incident. It is fortunate that no one was harmed and we thank everybody who took the time to help fight the fire,” added Ang.

Once the 18.30-kilometer elevated expressway is open to the public, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) estimates that traffic in Metro Manila will improve 20 - 30%. Though it might be a small figure, DPWH Secretary Mark Villar stated that the improvement the motorists will feel will be very big.

Moreover, the DPWH also expects that 100,000 cars will be relieved from EDSA, and that it will cut travel time between Buendia, Makati to North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) in Balintawak from 2 hours to just 15 - 20 minutes.