After assessing the damage from the fire that caused a section of the Skyway Stage 3 to collapse, San Miguel Corporation (SMC) has vowed to work double time to make sure that Skyway Stage 3 opens by July this year.
This is despite its contractor’s estimate of eight months to rebuild the portion of the road project that collapsed from a fire.
“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,” SMC president and COO Ramon S. Ang said.
The Skyway Stage 3 was initially planned to open by April 1 this year. The project is an elevated roadway that stretches from the end of the current Skyway at Gil Puyat Avenue in Makati to the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX). It will pass through the cities of San Juan, Manila, and Quezon City along the way, allowing motorists to conveniently exit at each of these cities without having to pass through EDSA. It is also meant to connect the north and south expressways.
SMC said its initial investigation showed that the fire could have likely started from a nearby construction yard and eventually spread to its nearby plastics warehouse, which at that time was in the process of being relocated out of Pandacan. The relocation is part of the company’s efforts to clear its properties in Pandacan, in consideration of Skyway and future projects. Earlier, SMC completed the removal of subsidiary Petron Corporation’s oil depot facilities in the area.
Recently, SMC proposed to use the Pandacan property to build a major, integrated transport and food terminal to help further decongest the main entry and exit points to Metro Manila.
It would serve as a safe, convenient and more comfortable central transport hub for travelers as well as a venue for food haulers from the province to deliver fresh produce without having to add to Metro Manila traffic.
“This incident is a reminder to all of us that right of way for all our infrastructure projects should be clear of fire hazards. We call on the Department of Public Works and Highways to continue to strictly enforce this to avoid similar incidents from happening,” Ang said.
“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,” Ang added.