San Miguel awaits gov't OK for 3-year toll road network expansion

MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel Corporation (SMC) led by tycoon Ramon Ang will begin its 3-year plan to expand all its toll roads in southern Metro Manila once the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) gives the green light for the project.

"All technical studies for the expansion of all our southern Metro Manila toll roads are now complete and ready for construction. We’re just waiting to get final approval," SMC president and chief operating officer Ang said in a statement on Wednesday, November 1.

The infrastructure arm of SMC said it can complete the expansion of South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), Skyway system, NAIA Expressway (NAIAX), and the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR) in just 3 years.

San Miguel Holdings Corporation said these projects are expected to decongest traditional chokepoints, like the Alabang viaduct, the Sucat and Bicutan interchanges, Magallanes, the C5 entrance and exit to SLEX, and the NAIAX entry to Skyway.

Its massive toll road expansion plan, in effect, will, ease traffic on public roads leading to these major toll entry and exit points. 

"The expansion of these major expressways is long overdue. But we’ve done our homework, we’ve invested to complete the studies and designs, and we’ve submitted all of these to the TRB for review," Ang said. (READ: Meet Ramon Ang, Filipino billionaire and Duterte's friend)

10 lanes for SLEX

Once approved by the TRB, San Miguel will add a 5th lane each to both the southbound and northbound lanes of SLEX to Calamba exit, effectively widening it to 10 lanes.

First phase of the SLEX expansion is from Alabang to Susana Heights. SMC has earmarked P130 million and set a one-year construction period for this phase. This involves extending the width of the expressway towards its perimeter fence. 

The remaining section all the way to Calamba can be completed by 2021, if the TRB approves it at the soonest possible time, said SMC.

The conglomerate said that it has already started bidding out construction of the project to contractors.

Meanwhile, SMC has also submitted designs to widen the elevated Skyway from Alabang to Sucat by two lanes and to extend it to the Alabang viaduct.

Skyway, NAIAX extension 

Ang said this design will solve the perennial congestion on the elevated Skyway system, bringing the total number of elevated lanes to 6 with provisions for a 7th lane.

The company also submitted engineering plans and completed detailed design to TRB to extend the NAIAX all the way to Bonifacio Global City (BGC).

This is seen to ease traffic on the Sales Bridge and lessen travel time from the Coastal Road, NAIA Terminal 1, 2, and 3, and SM Mall of Asia areas to BGC to only 10 minutes. (READ: San Miguel's latest venture: BMW vehicles)

Also included is the additional NAIAX ramps extension from NAIA Terminal 1 and 2 areas all the way to SM Sucat in Paranaque, where it can link up with the C-5 extension.

SMC said this will benefit motorists heading to Sucat, Las Piñas, and C5, who usually spend around 30 minutes to an hour just getting out of gridlock along airport roads.

Ang said SMC is also looking to implement plans to build a down ramp from the northbound elevated Skyway towards C-5 or BGC area. He said the construction of a one-lane ramp will take 1.5 years to complete. 

"All these projects are ready for implementation. These are all just improvements/extensions of existing expressways, so we are hoping that the TRB can review and act on our submissions at the soonest possible time," the SMC chief added. – Rappler.com