No plans to extend trans-Java toll road to Bali yet, official says
An Indonesian minister this week suggested that the trans-Java toll road may be extended all the way to Bali, but a local official has followed that up by clarifying that the only plans currently in place is to build toll roads within the province.
Basuki Hadimuljono, the Minister of Public Works and Housing (PUPR), briefly brought up the plans during a virtual business forum between Indonesia and Turkey on Tuesday to considerable fanfare among local media outlets.
“We will extend this toll road all the way to Bali island,” Basuki said, alluding the business potential of the construction project to Turkish investors, though without elaborating further.
The trans-Java toll road, which became fully operational just last year, connects Indonesia’s two biggest cities by road: the capital Jakarta and Surabaya in East Java.
The provincial government in Bali, for its part, has brought up plans of connecting Denpasar and Gilimanuk in Jembrana regency via toll road over the years, as well as Padangbai in eastern Bali.
With the Bali strait separating Java and Bali islands, Basuki’s comment unleashed speculations that a toll road built over water will be constructed. However, head of Bali Transportation Agency Wayan Samsi Gunarta said that there are no such plans yet.
“There will be no bridge over water. No such plans. There are plans for toll roads in Bali […] There are many talks of course, it’s common in discussions, but we will only refer to existing spatial plans [that are official],” Samsi said.
According to Indonesia Toll Road Authority (BPJT), only plans related to the construction of Gilimanuk-Denpasar toll road are in motion right now, whereas the possible extension of the trans-Java toll road to Bali is still pending a feasibility study.
It might be worth noting that the same confusion arose earlier this year, prompting Bali Governor Wayan Koster to clarify that the trans-Java toll road will only connect Jakarta to East Java. The governor also mentioned previously that officials are aiming for the toll road between Denpasar and Gilimanuk to begin construction next year, but the timeline may have changed due to the unprecedented coronavirus outbreak.
Read more news and updates from Bali here.
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