MANILA, Philippines — Traffic congestion along the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) is expected to ease with the opening yesterday of the third lane of the Skyway at grade-level and the new two-lane ramp connecting the Alabang viaduct to the elevated highway.

San Miguel Corp. president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang said the additional lanes would ease the flow of traffic along the SLEX while the construction of the SMC’s P10-billion Skyway Extension project is ongoing.

Ang said motorists could now use the original three lanes at the at-grade section, plus two more lanes at the elevated section.

“If you remember, northbound traffic from Laguna to Makati everyday was horrible. I think with this solution, we can see the traffic congestion to improve,” he said.

Motorists passing SLEX have been suffering from monstrous traffic jams since the closure of its outermost lane after the Alabang viaduct on Sept. 24 to give way for the construction of the Skyway Extension project.

“I know that motorists from the south – Muntinlupa, Las Piñas, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas – have been having a hard time in the past two months. Again, I apologize for the inconvenience this project has caused,” Ang said.

The Skyway Extension project being undertaken by the SMC will extend the Skyway from Alabang to SLEX near Susana Heights and the Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway.

The project, which is expected to be finished by December next year, will allow for an additional capacity of 4,500 vehicles northbound and 3,000 southbound vehicles per hour.

Ang said the northbound portion of the project is slated for completion in July 2020.

Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar said the opening of the Skyway ramp would be a relief for motorists and commuters.

By Richmond Mercurio