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Roads Pilaf

Plans Underway for Two Elevated Road Projects of the Rice Fields of East and West Bali

(9/28/2012) While Bali is working "full speed ahead" to complete the construction of an elevated toll way connecting Benoa – Ngurah Rai International Airport – Nusa Dua and on the Simpang Siur underpass, ideas are now being put forward to further alleviate traffic congestion by constructing elevated roadways over rice fields.

The idea of elevated roads over rice fields was first advanced by the head of the agency charged with National Roadway Construction for the province (BPJN), Susalit Alius.

Quoted in Beritabali.com, Susalit said: “The form (of the roads) will resemble the road to the Jakarta Sukarno-Hatta airport (in Jakarta) and be suspended on pillars. On these roads suspended over the rice fields, the function of the land (as agricultural fields) will not be changed. All that will change is an increase in the road network."

Susalit went on to explain that the goal of the proposed suspended highways through traditional agricultural lands is to add much-needed highways in Bali without damaging the environment or destroying the iconic rice fields and terraces, which exemplify the island.

“This plan for suspended highways supports pro-green and green tourism programs. The only metropolitan area in Indonesia with rice fields is Bali. So let's ensure that Bali is always green,” said Susalit.

The man charged with planning the regions' road infrastructure confirmed two roads over the rice fields are now under review and, according to plans, will connect Kuta-Tanah Lot-Soka via an extension of the current Sunset Road with another road connecting Beringkit-Batuan-Purnama.

According to partial plans now in hand, the proposed roads will be 30-meters wide to accommodate four lanes of traffic. Plans also call for the new roads to be constructed at heights lower than surrounding coconut trees to accommodate Balinese cultural sensitivities.

Susalit said the planning phase for the new roadways would consume 3-6 months. The plans also contemplate the provincial Zoning Law of 2009 (RTRWP) and a presidential decree regarding the Sarbagita transportation network. The preliminary plans for the new-elevated highways have already been presented to the Badung House of Representative (DPRD-Badung) and the Badung Administration.

Susalit added: “These elevated highways over rice fields will only be for roads and for no other purpose. Because of this, the elevated highways need to be secured by a provincial law preventing any development in areas adjoining the new highways for the next 25-30 years.”