The Skyway is reaching further north of Manila with the latest 3.7-km segment now connecting Gil Puyat “Buendia” in Makati to Plaza Dilao in Manila.
The new segment was opened to the public this morning by key members of Skyway O&M Corporation and San Miguel Corporation, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, and Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, as guests of honor. San Miguel-led Skyway O&M Corporation manages Skyway Stages 1 – 3.
Motorists (with motorcycles above 400cc) that previously had to endure Osmena Highway will now be able to travel above the traffic congested roads.
For now, the new stretch is only open to Class 1 vehicles and motorcycles above 400cc and only has two lanes that serve northbound and southbound traffic. Maximum travel speed is at 40 km/h and there are a total of three ramps that are open. These include Buendia, Quirino and the previously mentioned Plaza Dilao-Nagtahan ramps.
“After making the final inspections this morning, travel time from Makati to Manila via the new Plaza Dilao exit only took less than 5 minutes with an average speed of 40 km/h. Should all the lanes be opened soon, travel time between Buendia to Plaza Dilao (and vice versa) will be even faster,” said Sec. Mark Villar, DPWH.
This is just the first of many upcoming improvements. San Miguel Corporation plans to have all the lanes opened to motorists. Unfortunately, as construction is sill ongoing, they need the extra space to serve as a staging and construction area for the other portions of the elevated roadway. In addition, the DPWH revealed that the new segment may be closed from time to time to give way to construction completion.
Besides allowing faster access between Manila and Makati, Villar also said that this new segment will further decongest EDSA and other major thoroughfares as vehicles can now directly go to their destinations in either cities. In addition, this particular segment is toll-free for the time being. The Toll Regulatory Board has yet to approve proposed toll rates.
“This new segment serves as the first direct access between Makati and Manila. Soon however, Skyway Stage 3 will link up with Quezon City and reach all the way to North Luzon Expressway (NLEX). When all is completed, we are initially looking to decongest vehicular traffic along EDSA by 50,000 vehicles. However, we also estimated that it can free up about 200,000 vehicles," added Villar.
The first segment of Skyway Stage 3 is just 3.7-km out of the planned 18.68-km total length that is envisioned to be “substantially completed” by the end of the year. There will be more entrance / exit ramps along Skyway Stage 3’s route through Manila, San Juan, and Quezon City to be opened in the coming months. Once completed and fully operational in Q1 of 2020, it is expected to cut down travel time from Buendia in Makati City to Balintawak in Quezon City from two hours to just around 15 to 20 minutes.