Skyway Quirino portion to open by Q2 2018

Posted on August 10, 2017

THE DEPARTMENT of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said that the President Quirino Avenue exit ramp of the Metro Manila Skyway (MMS) Stage 3 will be ready for use by the second quarter next year, and that portions of the Skyway will be opened even before the completion of the entire project.“You can expect by 1st half of next year, we will open the 1st exit of Skyway,” DPWH Secretary Mark A. Villar told reporters yesterday during a site inspection of the project. Mr. Villar added that succeeding exit ramps to be constructed will be opened about every six months.

“As construction continues, we’ll be opening additional exit ramps,” Mr. Villar said.

The MMS Stage 3, a 14.82-kilometer and six-lane elevated toll road, is the last of three stages of the MMS System, intended to connect South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) in Alabang to Balintawak in Quezon City before North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) through the Central Metro Manila Area. The project, with San Miguel Corporation (SMC) Infrastructure as concessionaire and part of the Citra Central Expressway Corporation (CCEC) consortium, costs P37.43 billion.

The Skyway will have 14 toll plazas and eight local interchanges located in Buendia, Pres. Quirino Avenue, Plaza Dilao and Nagtahan, Aurora Boulevard, E. Rodriguez Avenue, Quezon Avenue, Sgt. Rivera and Balintawak.

Department of Transportation (DoTr) Secretary Arthur P. Tugade, who also attended the site inspection, said in Filipino: “It was agreed that if the entirety of the project will be finished in 30 months... we will have sectorial operability, meaning, we will not wait for the whole 30 months for the project to be used.”

“But while we have this target, we will still push for an earlier date [of opening],” Mr. Tugade added.

Mr. Villar also said that as of yesterday, the project is “about 30% complete,” and said that acquisition of right-of-way is at about 50%.

“DPWH has acquired right-of-way in big-ticket projects, but there are some landowners who have objections... But we already have an arrangement with the owner,” Mr. Villar said, adding that there will be just compensation for affected private properties.

With regard to toll fare for the Skyway Stage 3, Mr. Tugade said that investors “have to be given recoverability” and that there is a call to “balance the need to recover and the needs of the public.”

Mr. Tugade said that the toll fares will still go through the Tolls Regulatory Board (TRB), but gave an estimate of P240 for one-way access to the Skyway.

On the recent accident that occurred at the project site, wherein five construction workers were injured, Mr. Villar said that they had a dialogue with DM Consunji, Inc. (DMCI), the contractor, which “committed that the incident will not happen.”

Nonetheless, Mr. Villar said that they are still studying their options as to whether a case will be filed against DMCI, although what was important was that the company has promised to avoid such accidents. -- Patrizia Paola C. Marcelo