2020 may have been challenging, but here is some great news for motorists.

San Miguel Corporation (SMC), the company that financed and built the Skyway Stage 3 project that will connect the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and Skyway to the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), will be opening the new elevated road starting tomorrow.

And here's the best bit: the Skyway Stage 3 will be free of charge for 1 month.

The opening of the Skyway Stage 3 in December was part of the promise of San Miguel Corporation (SMC) president and chief operating officer, Ramon S. Ang.

“We are glad to finally welcome motorists, even on a limited capacity, starting December 29. While this is only a partial opening, given the scale and importance of this project, this is a very significant development. We have the government of President Rodrigo Duterte to thank for paving the way for the continuous construction of Skyway 3 over the past few years. We believe it will be key to our economic recovery after the pandemic,” Ang said.

Skyway Stage 3 opens to motorists tomorrow toll-free for 1 month image

The new Skyway Stage 3 is easily the most anticipated toll-road project as it will allow motorists the option to bypass the many at-grade roads in and around the metropolis to get from north to south and vice versa. The new road will be critical to alleviate the congested roads of the National Capital Region, particularly the main circumferential roads such as EDSA and C-5. The opening of the road will extend the Skyway system (which is also operated by San Miguel Corporation) from the current 20 kilometers to a total of 38.

In the official SMC announcement, Ramon S. Ang said that the opening should have been sooner as the initial promise was before Christmas, but natural calamities (i.e. late season typhoons) disrupted construction, particularly the curing of the concrete and asphalt.

“We cannot rush the curing of concrete and preparation for asphalt, because these have to be given enough time and have to be done according to the highest specifications to ensure quality and safety,” said Ang.

San Miguel's chief executive also credited President Duterte’s economic team led by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade and Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, for pursuing infrastructure development under the Build Build Build. This program was instrumental to accelerating the completion of Skyway Stage 3, particularly with regards to solving major right-of-way issues. SMC says that it was DPWH Secretary Mark Villar that made it possible for the end point connected directly to the North Luzon Expressway.

Skyway Stage 3 opens to motorists tomorrow toll-free for 1 month image

According to our contact in the DPWH, all the access points will not be open yet for the Skyway Stage 3, but they are targeting to open to complete the full alignment -with all exit and entry points- to be opened next year. Together with the planned completion of the southern extention project of the Skyway to Susana Heights, the entire Skyway will have 36 access points north to south.

According to San Miguel, the projection is that the Skyway Stage 3 will reduce Makati to NLEX drive time to only 20 minutes. Motorists from Alabang will be able to get to NLEX in only 30 minutes.

So if we start seeing traffic improve on EDSA come January, this will likely be why.