To achieve national progress in the real sense is to put in place modern infrastructure.
Being one of Asia’s growing economies in the early 1990’s, the Philippines needed to maintain the correlation between economic growth and infrastructure investments. At that time, one of the Metro Manila’s biggest setbacks in stepping up productivity and increasing business opportunities that could spur economic growth was the worsening traffic situation especially along the Alabang –Makati corridor.
In recognizing this, the administration of then President Fidel V. Ramos sought private investments in projects that could pump-prime the economy and help decongest vehicular traffic in the Megacity’s central business district.
One such project was his administration’s flagship project: the Metro Manila Skyway Project (SMMSP). Aimed to serve as the vital link between Metro Manila and the growth centers north and south of it, the MMSP was pursued by FVR who laid the groundwork for the public-private partnership of the state-owned Philippine National Construction Corporation (PNCC) and Jakarta-based Citra Lamtoro Gung Persada (CITRA).
The Metro Manila expressway project consists of 4 stages:
Stage 1 – construction of 9.5km Buendia-Bicutan elevated tollway and the rehabilitation of the Magallanes-Alabang section of the SLEX.
Stage 2 – construction of 6.88km Bicutan-ALabang elevated tollway.
Stage 3 – construction of the 18.5km Buendia-Balintawak (NLEX) elevated Tollway.
Stage 4 – Metro Manila Tollway, a component of the C-6 road at the eastern corridor of Metro Manila from Skyway at-grade section in Bicutan to NLEX in Marilao.
The South Metro Manila Skysway Project (SMMSP) is a modern six-lane elevated toll expressway built above the existing at-grade highway from Makati City to Muntinlupa City. It includes the rehabilitation of the South Luzon Expressway from Magallanes to Alabang.
Citra Metro Manila Tollways Corporation, the SMMSP developer, initiated the implementation of an integrated toll road network which one of the country’s most significant infrastructure projects, aimed at helping decongest Metro Manila’s major road system and increase the area’s economic opportunities.
Known as the Skyway System, SMMSP effectively doubles the road capacity to accommodate 300,000 vehicles daily, easing the flow of traffic between the country’s major urban centers and the industrial heartland.
Completion of the first 2 stages of the SMMSP
Two of the four stages of SMSSP have been completed and are currently operational.
Stage 1 consists of the 9.53 km elevated expressway from Buendia to Bicutan and the 13.5 km at-grade level from Magallanes to Alabang. Stage 1 was completed on schedule and was made fully operational by July 1999.
When Skyway Stage 1 was first opened to the public in 1999, an average of 160,000 vehicles per day use the Skyway System-around 25,000 on the elevated and 135,000 on the at-grade-with these numbers increasing in subsequent years, Millions of commuters now use the Skyway System every day, and they have all benefited from the concrete benefits of the completed projects.
Skyway Stage 1 has already afforded hundreds of thousands of motorists enormous savings since its opening, slashing average travel time of 2hours from the snail-paced southern arteries to the Makati Central Business District by more than 50%.
Stage 2 is the 6.88-km elevated expressway extension from Bicutan to Alabang which was constructed from May 2009-March 2011m and became operational in April 2011, ahead of the 24-month schedule approved by the Toll Regulatory Board.
This world-class road infrastructure now allows a quick breeze on the elevated toll road from the Alabang Toll Plaza to Buendia Off Ramp in less than 12 minutes at the speed of 80kph.