Slowly and surely, and despite the troubled national economy caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Indonesian Government is moving ahead with plans to expand its transnational highway network.
As reported by Beritabali.com, the Indonesian Ministry of Public Works and People’s Housing (PUPR) has announced that a 95-kilometer-long toll road connecting the western Balinese port of Gilimanuk with Mengwi will be completed by 2024.
The PUPR Minister Basuki Hadimuljono said the new toll road would become the second toll road operating in Bali after the Bali Mandara Toll Road that opened in 2013 that connects Sanur-Ngurah Rai Airport-Nusa Dua. As the proposed Gilimanuk to Denpasar Toll Road is being constructed, plans are also in hand for the Sumatra-Trans Jawa Highway to be extended to the easternmost port on Java at Banyuwangi.
Hadimuljono, in a statement issued on Friday, 07 August 2020, said: “The Trans-Java Highway has already reached East Probolinggo and will connect to Banyuwangi. Once in operation, Java and Bali will be connected with an alternative land route. The toll road will be faster and provide wonderful views. Besides, a family traveling in a single-vehicle will find travel (to Bali) cheaper than flying on a plane.”
The PUPR Minister credits the toll road as an unsolicited project presented on the initiative of the private sector that the National Government is enthusiastically welcoming. This approach is in keeping with the directive of Indonesian President Joko Widodo to seek alternative ways of financing toll roads that will not burden the State Budget (APBN).
“What’s more, the initiator of the toll road project is not a State-owned Company (BUMN). The PUPR Ministry encourages non-BUMN entities to invest in toll road projects actively. The new toll roads will be built without support from the Government. Financial projections demonstrate the highway will produce a good return on investment (IRR) as the roads will provide new access roads on routes that are already heavily traveled,” Minister Basuki Hadimuljono commented.
The Gilimanuk-Mengwi Toll Road project has already entered the feasibility review stage. The study is under review, and it is expected that a principle permit.
Currently, the stage of the Gilimanuk-Mengwi Toll Road development plan has entered the feasibility study (FS) stage and will soon be evaluated before the issuance of a principle permit.
The Minister said the Governor would have the final say on the new toll road’s actual location. In October 2020, the project will be put out to tender with construction work expected to commence in March 2021.
Bali Governor, I Wayan Koster, defends the second Bali toll road development as necessary to reduce traffic congestion on the roads during peak travel hours. The road, says the Governor, will provide quicker access to Denpasar and the reverse direction from Denpasar to Gilimanuk.
The Governor said the first phase of the 95-kilometer road project would be a 20-kilometer stretch of highway connecting Pekutatan – Soka. The second phase will join Soka and Mengwi, followed by a third phase connecting Gilimanuk to Pekutatan.
Current estimates put the total cost of the Gilimanuk-Mengwi Toll Road at Rp. 14 trillion.