The heavy traffic along the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) due to the Skyway extension project provoked affected Filipino commuters to share witty memes and comments.
Since construction started last September, weekday traffic flow crawled on the highway.
One Facebook user made a letter in jest addressed to friends to the north of Manila that they will not be attending any holiday festivities such as Christmas parties and dinners due to “fear” of being stuck in traffic for hours.
Part of it read:
“Of course, we would like to thank the management of SLEX and Skyway for ruining the Christmas season for all of us.”
Sharing. LDR na to 😂 the year is open ended. HahaCredits to Iza Antonio
A Twitter user similarly joked that she will not be able to attend an outing in November because of the SLEX traffic.
Team: plans an outing on nov 29
Me: attends the planning meeting to explain the horrible traffic situation on a friday, payday, holiday rush and going through slex. Guys pls dnt go through with this!!! pic.twitter.com/cN9zUlkuMt
— Carla Chua (@carlacochua) November 13, 2019
Facebook page Commuters of Metro Manila, meanwhile, shared a meme of SLEX as a new venue for a staycation in the capital.
“Enjoy your stay!” the caption read.
Aside from the overall traffic situation in the capital, it became unusually heavy along SLEX in the morning of September 25.
The official account of SLEX announced that a section of the northbound lane near the Alabang Exit or Lane 3 was closed to traffic starting at 10 pm on September 24 to make way for the extension project.
A stop-and-go traffic scheme was implemented on SLEX’s East Service Road.
Vehicles that normally pass through here then resorted to take SLEX, thus aggravating the existing gridlock.
Days later, the congestion spilled over to some roads in Muntinlupa and some commuters complained that the standstill went as far as Santa Rosa in Laguna, a neighboring province.
Rep. Ruffy Biazon of Muntinlupa later warned about paralyzing Muntinlupa if such road condition does not improve.
“The gridlock on northbound SLEX has spilled over to the National Road of Muntinlupa City. This is the main artery of the city,” Biazon said.
In October, Muntinlupa enforced a one-way scheme along SLEX’s East Service Road as an alternate solution when the stop-and-go strategy did not prove effective.
Unfortunately, the one-way scheme was also a failed attempt as it caused further heavy traffic jams from Alabang to Sucat Interchange and subsequent backlash online.
Some commuters at that time described the Alabang viaduct as a “big parking lot” of vehicles.
So far, no new solution had been implemented. Motorists and commuters expect a longer travel time this Christmas season.
Explaining the SLEX-Skyway traffic
The ongoing works are just Phase 1 of the P10-billion Skyway extension masterplan that is supposed to decongest the traffic at SLEX and Skyway, the main highways used by commuters from the south of Metro Manila and from the provinces Cavite, Laguna and Batangas.
Phase 1 involves the extension of the Skyway from Alabang to Susana Heights. Phases 2 and 3 will include access points in Bicutan, Sucat and Alabang-Zapote Road.
San Miguel Corporation (SMC), the unit in-charge, said that the construction is expected to reach completion by December 2020.
SMC Chief Operating Officer Ramon Ang assured motorists that traffic flow will run smoothly for the next 10 to 15 years once the extensions have been built.
In terms of phase 1, Ang said motorists can use Lane 3 again by November 30.