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SMC bags P26.5-b road link

By Lailany P. Gomez | Posted 5 hours ago |

President Benigno Aquino III approved a P26.5-billion deal with San Miguel Corp. and the Citra Group of Indonesia to construct a 14.2-kilometer road that will connect the Southern Luzon Expressway to the Northern Luzon Expressway, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya announced Friday.

The Transportation Department said the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 project was “expected to help decongest Edsa and other major roads, such as Quezon Avenue, Araneta Avenue, Nagtahan and Quirino and greatly reduce travel time from Buendia to Balintawak from the usual two hours or more to just 15 minutes.”

“Our president is committed to build infrastructure that will ease the worsening traffic congestion and to enhance economic opportunities. This Skyway project will surely do both,” Abaya said, referring to the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 project to be undertaken by Citra Central Expressway Corp., a joint venture between San Miguel and the Citra Group.

The Transportation Department said under the deal, the project would be fully funded by Citra Central at an estimated cost of P26.5 billion and would be overseen by the department and the Toll Regulatory Board.

A 2013 report by the Japan International Cooperation Agency estimated that around P2.4 billion worth of economic and opportunity loss was incurred daily due to traffic congestion in Metro Manila.

The Transportation Department said the project would involve the construction of a mostly elevated six-lane expressway with an approximate length of 14.2 kilometers.

“It will help reduce pollution, provide  greater comfort and safety to the motorists and result in large savings in travel time, fuel and vehicle maintenance costs. It will also provide around 6,000 direct jobs and an additional indirect jobs of around 10,000 during construction,” the agency said.

The project is estimated to be completed in three years and preparatory and advance works may commence before the end of this year, the agency said.

“Round-the-clock construction works is expected by early second quarter next year,” it said.

Abaya said the first section of the roadway from Buendia to Nagtahan might be opened for service as early 2016.

“DoTC, along with DPWH [Public Works Department], MMDA [Metropolitan Manila Development Authority] and local governments of Makati, Manila and Quezon City, will surely coordinate and do their best to minimize traffic inconvenience throughout the route of the project,” Abaya said.

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