Bali’s first toll road, which links Ngurah Rai Airport with Nusa Dua and Tanjung Benoa, was officially opened by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) yesterday afternoon, just in time for the upcoming Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in early October.
“I pronounce this road the Bali Mandara toll road,” said SBY as he signed a commemorative plaque in the presence of Public Works Minister Djoko Kirmanto, Coordinating Minister for the Economy Hatta Rajasa and Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Jero Wacik, as well as Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika.
The road’s name had been kept a closely guarded secret until the inauguration. “Mandara” is an acronym of Indonesian words, comprising maju (move forward), aman (safe), damai (peaceful) and sejahtera prosperous and used by Governor Pastika during his election campaigns.
The 12.7-kilometer-long road runs over the sea and in part through protected mangrove forests. It was completed in 14 months, which the authorities claim is something of a record for a major infrastructure project. Minister Djoko explained that despite its construction cost of Rp 2.48 trillion (US$ 220 million) it did not siphon off state money because it was built under a public-private partnership involving seven state-owned enterprises.
The public will be able to use the road free of charge until the end of September, after which the toll fee will be Rp 10,000 for cars and Rp 4,000 for motorcycles. It has been estimated that daily traffic will be almost 40,000 vehicles per day, 56 percent of which will be motorcycles.
Governor Pastika praised the road for the contribution it would make to Bali’s infrastructure. “This road will certainly be a new icon that becomes the pride of the island of Bali,” he said.
Source – The Beat Daily