Conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) announced on Tuesday that the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 has been completed, but its top official said it is not yet open to the motoring public.

In a statement, SMC said the 17.93-kilometer expressway, which links Gil Puyat Ave. (formerly Buendia) in Makati City to the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) toll plaza in Balintawak, Quezon City, was “done ahead of the original October 31 schedule.”

Travel time from South Luzon Expressway to NLEX will be cut to 20 minutes from the previous three hours. Motorists traversing Magallanes to Balintawak will only have to travel for about 15 minutes; 15 minutes also for Balintawak-Ninoy Aquino International Airport route; and 10 minutes from Valenzuela to Makati.

Finishing works, however, are yet to be done, SMC President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon Ang said.

“We just have to wait for the weather to improve so we can make sure that the asphalt will cure properly. That and a few more finishing touches are all that’s needed, and then we can open, soon,” he said in a statement.

The project has five sections: Buendia, Makati–Quirino Avenue–Nagtahan; Nagtahan– Aurora Blvd./Ramon Magsaysay Avenue; Ramon Magsaysay–Quezon Avenue; Quezon Avenue–Balintawak, Quezon Avenue; and Balintawak, Quezon City–NLEX Footbridge.

The group also noted that the groundbreaking for the P734-billion Bulacan airport project may happen “by the end of the year.”

SMC traded flat on Tuesday to close at P99.90 each.

Lisbet K. Esmael