Starting April 22, motorists coming from both the north and south can now access Sta. Mesa and the City of Manila directly, in record time, as San Miguel Corporation (SMC) has formally opened the Nagtahan northbound and southbound exit ramps of the new Skyway Stage 3 elevated expressway.
SMC president Ramon S. Ang said that with the opening of the Nagtahan exit ramps, motorists can expect to further cut their travel time to Manila, even as traffic congestion at major thoroughfares commonly used to access Sta. Mesa and other nearby areas are seen to further ease.
“The concessionaire is taking advantage of the dry season to fast-track the completion of ramps as we want more motorists to reap the benefits of additional interchanges in between Buendia and NLEX,” said DPWH Sec. Mark Villar.
“The timely opening of all interchanges will also further reduce traffic along major NCR roads, most specifically Edsa, Quezon Avenue, Araneta Avenue. Nagtahan, and Quirino Avenue,” he added.
“We are committed to fully delivering the remaining access ramps of Skyway 3 in the soonest possible time. With the Nagtahan exits, motorists coming from both SLEX and NLEX or other points of entry to the Skyway 3, can now opt to get to their destinations in Manila faster, without having to go through traffic, or contribute to traffic on major public roads and busy streets,” Ang said.
SMC, which fully funded 100% of the Skyway Stage 3 project, including the acquisition of right-of-way properties and reconstruction of public bridges, to ensure no government funds or taxpayer money is spent on the project, officially opened the main alignment of the elevated expressway last January. However, due to right-of-way issues, delivery of some access ramps had to come a little later.
Ang thanked Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar and Department of Transportation (DoTR) secretary Arthur Tugade for their support in improving the travel infrastructure in the country, particularly SMC’s road infrastructure projects in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“With the support of government agencies like the DPWH and the DOTR and the political will of President Duterte, we were able to accomplish more, even with quarantine restrictions in place. We are counting on their continued support as continue to work full blast to complete the remaining ramps,” Ang added.
Ang said that northbound ramps that are next to be opened include the Quirino exit (heading to Roxas Blvd.), Quirino entry, Nagtahan entry, E. Rodriguez Entry, and Sgt. Rivera (C3) exit. Meanwhile, southbound access points to be opened soon are the A. Bonifacio entry, Sgt. Rivera (C3) exit, Sgt. Rivera (C3) entry, and Quirino exit.
With the opening of the Nagtahan exits, operational access ramps of Skyway 3 now include Northbound -- Buendia (Zobel) entry, Quirino Avenue exit, Nagtahan exit, Quezon Avenue exit, Quezon Avenue entry, A. Bonifacio exit, and Balintawak exit; Southbound -- Balintawak entry, Quezon Avenue exit, Quezon Avenue entry, E. Rodriguez exit, Nagtahan exit, Plaza Dilao entry, and Buendia (Zobel) exit.
Recently, SMC also opened the four-kilometer northbound section of the Skyway Extension project from Susana Heights to Sucat, allowing motorists from provinces south of Metro Manila to directly access the Skyway System without having to go through the Alabang viaduct.
“With the recent opening of Skyway Extension project, motorists from Batangas, Laguna, Cavite now enjoy the convenience of seamless travel to many points in Metro Manila, all the way to NLEX. With work on the southbound section now at an accelerated pace, we are closer to fully realizing the seamless connection between southern and northern Luzon,” Ang said.
The 18-kilometer Skyway Stage 3 is a game-changing project that significantly reduces travel time from Buendia to Balintawak in just 20 minutes, and Alabang to Balintawak in only about 30 minutes.
The Skyway Stage 3 and the Skyway Extension project are part of SMC’s 38-kilometer elevated Skyway System, which aims to reduce traffic congestion along major thoroughfares including EDSA, and provide a seamless link from the South Luzon Expressway to the North Luzon Expressway.