• 14.8-kilometer Skyway links South, North expressways

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    The 14.8-kilometer Skyway 3 that will connect the North and South Luzon expressways will cut travel time and ease traffic in Metro Manila, President Benigno Aquino 3rd said on Wednesday.

    President Benigno Aquino 3rd presses a button to launch the Skyway 3 project on Wednesday. Assiting the President is San Miguel Corp.’s President Ramon Ang. MALACAÑANG PHOTO

    President Benigno Aquino 3rd presses a button to launch the Skyway 3 project on Wednesday. Assiting the President is San Miguel Corp.’s President Ramon Ang. MALACAÑANG PHOTO

    But Metro Manila mayors see traffic gridlock worsening while the elevated highway is being built.

    The President launched the P26.5-bllion project and construction starts in April.

    The President said Skyway 3 is the biggest proof of his administration’s Daang Matuwid (straight path) program.

    In his speech Aquino sniped at Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr. and his other critics.
    He said the Skyway project was not fantasy or a product of a movie, a veiled reference to Revilla’s television show “Panday [The Blacksmith].”

    “As for those who have repeatedly been asking and who have been keeping a blind eye to what we’ve accomplished: This is the straight path. This was not fabricated by fantasy nor is it made up like a scene in a movie—this is a real and concrete project that is brought by our straight and good governance for the benefit of the Filipino people,” he said in Filipino.

    “No matter how hard some try to look good and become a star just for their own interests, no one will be able to halt our collective progress as one nation,” Aquino said.

    The President said the new Skyway will help improve traffic in Metro Manila and reduce travel time from Buendia to Balintawak from two hours to 15 to 20 minutes.

    The project will also provide around 6,000 jobs and an additional 10,000 “indirect jobs” during construction, he said.

    The Skyway 3 is expected to be completed by 2017.

    The expressway will complete the Skyway system from Alabang to Balintawak, decongesting major roads including EDSA and C5 Road.

    The elevated expressway starts at the end of the existing Skyway in Buendia. It will run through the length of Osmena Highway, Quirino Avenue, Paco, Santa Mesa via the Nagtahan flyovers, traverse Aurora Blvd and Araneta Avenue up to Sgt. Rivera Road and end at the bend of A Bonifacio Ave. towards NLEX.

    But some Metro mayors dread that traffic will get worse while Skyway 3 is being constructed.

    Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista said traffic will become a “riot” once several transportation projects are carried out simultaneously.

    On Wednesday, the mayors approved a slew of several projects that address the transportation and traffic problems in the metropolis.

    Among the projects are the Integrated Transport System (ITS) Terminals, Light Railway Transit (LRT) 2 East Extension Project, LRT-1 North Extension Project Common Station and the Automated Fare Collection System.

    Under the proposed ITS terminals, three mass transportation intermodal terminals will be built at the outskirts of Metro Manila—two in the South and one in the North.

    The South terminals will be located at the Food Terminal Inc. site in Taguig City and at the Philippine Reclamation Area (PRA) near Uniwide Coastal Mall in Parañaque City.

    The LRT 2 East Extension Project will provide rapid and reliable mode of transit to the eastern part of Manila. It will be extended by 4.19 kilometer eastward from Santolan Station at Marcos Highway to Sumulong Highway.

    Two new stations will be added—one in front of the Robinson’s Place Metro East Mall in Cainta, Rizal and another at the Masinag Junction in Antipolo City.

    The LRT 2 line extension, which will cost P9.5 million, is expected to be finished in 2016.

    With a report from Ritchie Horario

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