TWENTY or 15 years ago, I could travel from Las Pinas to Quezon City via EDSA for only an hour or less. Driving a car wasn’t that stressful then.
But the number of vehicles increased in Metro Manila while no new thoroughfares were constructed to accommodate them in the years that followed, causing horrific traffic we experience until today.
It’s the same traffic that gets us late for work, makes us miss appointments for opportunities, and deprives us of quality time for family. It also has a terrible cost for the economy. Many believed the problem would stay forever and even get worse.
Lately however, I tried going to Quezon City from Las Pinas using the Skyway built by San Miguel Corporation. To my surprise, my journey was only 45 minutes! I said to myself: “Great goodness, may pag-asa pa palang maayos ang trapik sa Metro Manila.”
From Zapote Road, Las Pinas, I took Coastal Road before going up to NAIA Expressway which connects to Skyway. From that link, I drove straight northbound and exited in Bonifacio Avenue, Quezon City.
The Bonifacio northbound ramp is one of the two new ramps of the newly-operational Skyway Stage 3 that was recently opened by SMC to the public to further improve accessibility and ease of travel within Metro Manila via the 18-kilometer elevated expressway.
SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang announced the opening of the A. Bonifacio northbound off-ramp, just before the Cloverleaf Mall in Balintawak, and the E. Rodriguez southbound off-ramp on Araneta Avenue, which also provides access to España Boulevard.
Skyway 3 engineers and construction personnel worked double time to be able to open these two new ramps, better serve motorists, and provide them seamless and convenient travel.
With the opening of these ramps, those who are coming from Alabang, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Pasay, or Makati will no longer have to take EDSA and get stuck in several traffic chokepoints in order to get to Balintawak.
Meanwhile, those coming from NLEX headed to Quezon City, on the other hand, can opt to take Skyway 3 to get to E. Rodriguez Avenue.
Contractors for SMC Infrastructure are working continuously to deliver other access ramps. The full completion of these were delayed due to pending right-of-way acquisition.
Despite delays, SMC is excited for the next access points to be opened soon.
For northbound motorists, next to be opened will be the Quirino Entry, Nagtahan Entry, Nagtahan Exit, E. Rodriguez Entry, and C3 Exit.
For southbound, SMC will soon open the C3 Entry, C3 Exit, A. Bonifacio Entry, Plaza Dilao Exit, and Nagtahan Exit.
Once all of these access points are opened, traffic in many parts of Metro Manila, especially major thoroughfares, will be virtually a thing of the past.
People will be able to get from one place to another within the city much faster and easier, without the stress.
And because of this, our main thoroughfares and city streets will also be decongested, making travel for those not using the expressway better as well.
Ang underscored the importance of addressing the country’s congestion problems today, particularly as the coronavirus disease 2019 global pandemic continues to significantly impact the economy.
“For us in San Miguel, now is really the time to double-up our efforts and continue all our major investments to help alleviate the country’s congestion problems, to keep people working, and, in completing these infrastructure projects, prepare our country for economic recovery and further growth,” he said.
Skyway Stage 3, built and fully-funded by SMC and officially opened last Jan. 14, brings to reality the long-held dream of seamlessly connecting southern and northern Luzon.
It is also a solution to traffic in Metro Manila, which has only grown through the decades.
With Skyway 3, motorists are now able to bypass EDSA and other busy streets and enjoy travel time from Buendia to Balintawak in just 20 minutes, and Alabang to Balintawak in only 30 minutes.
The now operational access ramps of Skyway 3 include: Northbound-Buendia (Zobel) Entry, Quezon Avenue Entry, Quirino Avenue Exit, Quezon Avenue Exit, A. Bonifacio Exit and Balintawak Exit; and Southbound — Balintawak Entry, Quezon Avenue Entry, Plaza Dilao Entry, Quezon Avenue Exit, E. Rodriguez Exit, and Buendia (Zobel) Exit.
There’s no doubt this SMC infrastructure project is a game-changer.
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