Jokowi mulls building two new toll roads
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Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo says he is considering building two of six planned elevated extensions of the inner-city toll road, despite opposition from urban planning groups.
Jokowi said that officials were examining plans to build a Semanan-Sunter toll road connecting West and North Jakarta and a Sunter-Pulogebang toll road connecting North and East Jakarta.
“We have discussed how these toll roads could support logistics,” Jokowi told reporters at City Hall on Monday. “We are still calculating how this could benefit us. We don’t want to make the wrong decision.”
Deputy Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama said that the roads would ease traffic and facilitate the flow of goods into and out of Tanjung Priok Port — the nation’s busiest — to other regions.
“We are not against the six-toll-road project, as we said during the election campaign, but we will need at least two toll roads, Semanan to Sunter and Sunter to Pulogebang.”
“Once New Tanjung Priok Port is completed, there will be two ports. It’s going to be very busy. We will need new toll roads to accommodate container traffic [from Tanjung Priok] to Sumatra, Banten, West Java or Central Java,” he said.
Construction of New Tanjung Priok Port in Kalibaru, adjacent to Tanjung Priok Port in North Jakarta, has been scheduled for completion later this year.
Plans for the two toll roads, however, would need to be redesigned, Ahok said. “The two toll roads have to directly connect to the port. Without these two toll roads, can you imagine how many containers would need to traverse the capital’s roads?”
Jokowi said after a closed-door meeting with the project stakeholders that ended in deadlock last week that he had yet to make a decision regarding the Rp 42 trillion (US$4.3 billion) project to build the six toll roads, a project initiated during the term of his predecessor Sutiyoso and had been scheduled to begin in the middle of this year.
During the meeting, a proposal from Jokowi to build only one toll road segment, from Semanan to Bekasi, was also opposed by urban development NGOs.
When on the campaign trail last year, Jokowi said that he would oppose the toll-road project, pledging to prioritize development of mass transit in the capital to shift people from using private cars.
Contacted separately, Darmaningtyas, an expert with the Institute of Transportation Studies (Instran) who was involved in last week’s meeting, said that he would not change his stance against the project.
Instead of building new toll roads to support the port, Darmaningtyas said that the city administration should optimize existing railway tracks to connect the port to a dry port in the Jababeka industrial area in Cikarang, West Java.
“The Cikarang Dry Port was designed to support container traffic from Jababeka and Tanjung Priok and vice versa. [The administration] also has not yet made use of the railway tracks,” he told The Jakarta Post. “If we have tried all options and still are unable to solve the traffic problem, then [the city administration] should go ahead.”
Darmaningtyas confirmed that the project’s developer, PT Jakarta Tollroad Development (JTD), has insisted on proceeding with the project, claiming that it has spent a lot of money in its preliminary investments to build the roads.
JTD is a consortium comprising construction firms PT Hutama Karya, PT Pembangunan Perumahan, PT Wijaya Karya, PT Adhi Karya and PT Citra Marga Nusaphala Persada.