By Lorenz S. Marasigan, October 24 2019; Business Mirror

Image Credit to CNN Philippines

PUBLIC Works (DPWH) Secretary Mark A. Villar said the construction work on the extension of the South Luzon Expressway (Slex) should be completed by December 1, a critical milestone that is seen to ease the current traffic congestion along the thoroughfare.

Currently, motorists experience traffic congestion along the northbound lane of the Slex due to the construction of the P10-billion extension of the Skyway System to Susana Heights. This triggered the closure of the outermost lane of the Skyway System’s Alabang viaduct, resulting in heavy traffic that at times stretches all the way to the
Mamplasan Interchange.

“We are just trying to fast-track the construction. Our target is by December 1, we can go back to the original traffic levels of Slex. It’s better that we do it now, because if we do it in the next few years, it will be harder due to the buildup in the area,” Villar said in a chance interview.

The traffic congestion has earned the ire of so many motorists that the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) is now studying the implications of the bottlenecks along the Slex. It is currently evaluating corrective measures, including a motorist discount on the Slex toll rates.

“We still haven’t arrived at a decision, but we will review the implications,” said Villar, who sits as the TRB’s vice chairman.

He noted that this somewhat temporary pain for motorists will bear much fruit, once the extension is completed on December 1.

The extension will give motorists direct access to and from the Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway (MCX), and will add an estimated 4,500 vehicles per hour capacity to the northbound expressway, and around 3,000 vehicles capacity per hour, southbound.