San Miguel Corporation (SMC) has finished building the 17.93-km stretch of its P70-billion Skyway 3 linking Southern and Northern Luzon three weeks ahead of schedule.
However, the expressway cannot be opened to the public yet, after continuous heavy rains delayed finishing works, such as the proper curing of asphalt, president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang announced.
“We just have to wait for the weather to improve so we can make sure that the asphalt will cure properly,” he explained.
“That and a few more finishing touches are all that’s needed, and then we can open, soon,” the president added.
Despite many setbacks, SMC completed the mega infrastructure project ahead of its original October 31 schedule in the wake of delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The whole structure of Skyway 3 is now complete. With this, Skyway 2 in Buendia is now officially extended all the way to the North Luzon Expressway,” according to Ang.
“After many challenges this project faced in previous years, the dream of connecting north and south and providing an alternative to EDSA is now a reality.”
With Skyway 3, travel from SLEX to NLEX will now take just 20 minutes, from around three hours previously.
Magallanes to Balintawak will take 15 minutes; Balintawak to NAIA, 15 minutes, and Valenzuela to Makati, 10 minutes.
Since COVID-19 restrictions were eased starting mid-May to June earlier this year, SMC had been doubling its efforts to deliver its major infrastructure projects with the least delays possible.
In mid-July, it delivered the last section of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) to Rosario, La Union, officially opening the entire stretch of the TPLEX to motorists.
Apart from the Skyway 3, the company is also looking to deliver the northbound section of the Skyway Extension–which provides additional lanes and connects the South Luzon Expressway to Skyway near Susanna Heights and the Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway—by December this year.
Ang vowed to push through with all its major infrastructure projects despite the economic slowdown due to the pandemic, in order to generate jobs and help the economy recover.
Its P740-billion Manila International Airport project in Bulacan, the largest single-item investment in Philippine history, is also set to break ground by the end of the year.
Seen as a game-changer for the Philippine economy, it will generate over a million direct and indirect jobs and, once complete, create up to as much as 30 million tourism jobs nationwide.