One-Way Traffic Scheme on West Service Road Gives Way to Skyway Extension Works

Motorists plying the West Service Road in Muntinlupa should take note of the recent route changes implemented by authorities. In a report by GMA News, a one-way scheme has been put into effect on Monday, February 17, to give way to the continuation of civil works on the Skyway extension project. It will last for three months until May.

It starts from Alabang Hills toward Alabang-Zapote Road, only allowing the southbound traffic to pass through. Motorists headed north or those going from Alabang to Sucat are instructed to use the East Service Road.

The new traffic scheme likewise bans heavy vehicles, including buses and delivery vans, from using the Skyway, given that the temporary steel ramp cannot accommodate their weight. Instead, they are to use the Skyway at-grade or the segment of the highway at ground level. The thoroughfare, however, only has two lanes servicing motorists, as Lane 3 is closed to the southbound traffic.

Road Extension

As shown in this ABS-CBN report, the P10-billion Skyway extension project stretches the highway all the way up to Susana Heights/Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway (MCX). The new thoroughfare will have a three-lane, elevated northbound segment and a two-lane elevated southbound segment, stretching on either side of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), linked to the existing Skyway. 

According to the Skyway O&M Corporation (SOMCO), the highway’s capacity will increase by 4,500 vehicles per hour northbound, and 3,000 vehicles per hour southbound. Once completed, motorists from the south of the metro will be able to take the Skyway and avoid the Alabang viaduct. With the nearing completion of Skyway Stage 3, vehicles will be able to bypass EDSA as well. The project is expected to be finished this December 2020.

Traffic Adjustments in QC

In earlier reports, MMDA likewise rolled out lane closures over at the north of the metro. Yielding to construction works for the Skyway Stage 3 project, the traffic adjustment will take effect until March 5.

Last February 11, authorities implemented a one-lane closure on EDSA Balintawak northbound towards North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), as the building of a vertical support under the EDSA Bridge commenced. Light vehicles going to NLEX and Monumento were advised to go through the Balintawak Interchange ramp going to Cubao and take the U-turn slot after Cloverleaf Market. 

Meanwhile, on February 16, two lanes were closed on EDSA Balintawak going to Cubao to give way to the construction of the interconnection platform tower on top of the EDSA Bridge. MMDA officials instructed light vehicles coming from Monumento via EDSA to turn right to A. de Jesus St. then left to C3 before getting to Balintawak.

From February 22 to 29, lane closures will be implemented along A. Bonifacio. Only one lane going to NLEX will be used by motorists, while two will be for those going to Manila, as the construction team would work on setting up girders, structures that form the bridge framework. This traffic adjustment will be in effect from 11pm to 5am.

The following alternate routes were suggested for light vehicles:

  1. For those going to NLEX and Monumento: use the Balintawak Interchange ramp going to Cubao and make a U-turn after Cloverleaf Market.
  2. For those going to Novaliches and NLEX: use the zipper lane at the left immediately before the construction site.
  3. For those going to Manila/Caloocan from NLEX: use the Balintawak Interchange ramp going to Monumento via EDSA then make a left to A. De Jesus St. and another left to C3.

Infrastructure Development

The P37.4-billion Skyway Stage 3 Project connects the southern and northern parts of the metro. Its construction is divided into phases and sections, according to the project brief from the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center. Phase 1 involves Sections 1 and 2, which stretches from Buendia to Nagtahan, and from Nagtahan to Ramon Magsaysay Boulevard, respectively. Phase 2 covers Sections 3 and 4, which runs from Ramon Magsaysay Boulevard to Quezon Avenue, and from Quezon Avenue to Balintawak respectively.

Stretching over 14 kilometers, it has strategically located interchanges at Buendia, Pres. Quirino Avenue, Plaza Dilao and Nagtahan, as well as Aurora Boulevard, E. Rodriguez Avenue, Quezon Avenue, Sgt. Rivera and Balintawak. All in all, the expressway has 14 toll plazas.

The project is expected to improve the accessibility, mobility, and connectivity in and out of the metro. With strengthened interaction among the neighboring regions, namely NCR, CALABARZON, and Central Luzon, it will cause better economic progress for the country. In addition, the alternate route would reduce traffic gridlocks in major roads, especially EDSA, and also create new transport routes.

When completed, travel time between the north and south will be reduced from two hours to about 15 to 20 minutes. Originally set to be finished in April this year, completion is pushed back to July after a recent fire caused the collapse of a portion of the skyway.

Sources: GMA News, ABS-CBN, MMDA, PPP

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