The Jakarta Post
State-owned toll road operator PT Jasa Marga will begin the construction of the Solo-Ngawi-Kertosono toll road, connecting the Central Java and East Java cities, in August this year just a few months after the company acquired the concession rights to operate the toll road from Thiess Contractors Indonesia.
Jasa Marga president director Adityawarman told reporters on Thursday that the ground-breaking for the toll road would be held on April 20 in a ceremony at which President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo would be in attendance.
'We will open the bidding for construction companies in June and the construction of the toll road will begin two months afterwards,' Adityawarman said, adding that the toll road would be ready by the end of 2017.
Jasa Marga, along with state-owned construction company
PT Waskita Karya, spent about Rp 439 billion (US$34.15 million) to acquire the toll road project from Thiess. Jasa Marga now owns 60 percent of the shares in the project, while Waskita Karya owns the remaining 40 percent.
Thiess won the tender for the project back in 2011 and began construction the following year. Initially, the company aimed to finish the project in 2014, but was only able to acquire 80 percent of the needed land.
Data from the Public Works and Public Housing Ministry's Toll Road Authority (BPJT) shows that 91 percent of the land needed for the Solo-Ngawi section has been acquired, while 48 percent of the land has been acquired for the Ngawi-Kertosono section.
The total investment needed to construct the 90-kilometer Solo-Ngawi section amounts to Rp 5.14 trillion, while the investment for the 87-kilometer Ngawi-Kertosono section will require Rp 3.83 trillion.
BPJT head Achmad Gani Ghazali said that the government has committed to help construct a 20-kilometer stretch of the toll road in the Solo-Ngawi section and a 36-kilometer stretch in the Ngawi-Kertosono section because of the project's low investment return ratio.
Meanwhile the 116-kilometer Cikampek-Palimanan highway, the so-called Cipali toll road in West Java, will be ready for operation before this year's Idul Fitri holiday in July, according to Gani. He said that the toll road was expected to significantly decrease traffic jams during the annual exodus.
'The construction is 93 percent complete. We are still finishing the construction of nine road bridges along the section,' Gani said.
The Cipali toll road, constructed by infrastructure firm PT Lintas Marga Sedaya, comprises six sections: Cikopo-Kalijati (29.12 km), Kalijati-Subang (9.56 km), Subang-Cikedung (31.37 km), Cikedung-Kertajati (17.66 km), Kertajati-Sumberjaya (14.51 km) and Sumberjaya-Palimanan (13.78 km).
The government is speeding up the Trans-Java toll road project, planning to complete the construction of all sections connecting Jakarta and Surabaya (East Java) by 2018.
The toll road is expected to ease the heavy traffic on Java's northern coastal road, Pantura, which has long been the island's transportation backbone and which channels an amount of freight equivalent to almost 50 percent of the nation's economy.
'Within the next three years, we are prioritizing to connect Jakarta and Surabaya with a toll road network. We will continue the network to Banyuwangi [East Java] afterwards,' Gani said.