The Jakarta Post
The Jakarta administration plans to develop two new elevated roads at the Semanggi intersection in Central Jakarta in an attempt to reduce traffic congestion in the area.
'We want to build two elevated roads that travel over the Semanggi cloverleaf interchange. Currently, traffic in the area is congested because there are too many vehicles,' Governor Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama told reporters at City Hall on Wednesday.
Separately, Bina Marga head Yusmada Faizal said that the planned elevated roads would cater to motorists traveling from Ratu Plaza in South Jakarta to Cawang in East Jakarta and from Grogol in West Jakarta to Kebayoran Baru in South Jakarta.
The city aims to start building the new elevated roads next year without using funds from the city budget.
'We will ask private developers to help us to develop the elevated roads. Private developers are offered a chance to give back to the city administration by providing social or public facilities. We will consult a contractor to know what we need and how much we need for the construction,' Ahok said.
He revealed that he had already approached a number of private developers and some, he claimed, had agreed to participate in the construction, including PT Agung Sedayu Group.
The roads body, Yusmada said, had discussed the plan with the Public Works and Public Housing Ministry, which had given the green light.
'The Semanggi interchange was designed for medium to low traffic volume. However, with the increasing number of vehicles in Jakarta, traffic at the interchange has also increased. It's too busy,' Yusmada said over the phone on Wednesday.
He added that the city's concept was to 'simplify' traffic in Semanggi by developing the two elevated roads.
'For example, motorists traveling from Ratu Plaza to Cawang can use the elevated roads instead of waiting for other motorists to exit from Jl. Gatot Subroto onto Jl. Sudirman,' he said.
Yusmada refused to elaborate on the project, stressing that the elevated roads were still being planned and the design was still under discussion.
This is the first public announcement of the plan, which may change the face of the iconic Semanggi cloverleaf.
The interchange, designed by then public works minister Sutami, was built in 1961 under first president Sukarno to reduce traffic congestion in the area. The overpass was named Semanggi after the Indonesian for clover, as from the air it resembles the plant.
It intersects Jl. Sudirman, Jl. Gatot Subroto and the Inner City toll road and serves as the main interchange of the capital's Golden Triangle business district, which includes the Sudirman, Thamrin and Kuningan areas.
The city's plan drew criticism from urban analyst Nirwono Joga, who insisted that elevated roads would not help reduce traffic congestion. Moreover, he said, the project would ruin the design of Semanggi, considered a Jakarta icon.
Nirwono cited a pair of elevated roads in Pancoran, South Jakarta, which he said had ruined the aspect of the iconic Dirgantara statue.
'I advise the city administration to reconsider this plan. Adding more roads does not solve traffic congestion,' he said.
A number of elevated roads and overpasses have been constructed or begun construction over the past five years, starting with the construction of the Casablanca and Antasari-Blok M elevated roads in South Jakarta in 2010 under the administration of then governor Fauzi Bowo.
Earlier this year, the city started the construction of two overpasses in Permata Hijau and Kuningan in South Jakarta. Recently, a more major project on an elevated highway on Jl. Tendean, also in South Jakarta, was begun.
The administration plans to construct four further overpasses above Cipinang Lontar railroad crossing in East Jakarta, Bintaro railroad crossing in South Jakarta, Jl. Panjang railroad crossing in West Jakarta and Jl. Kartini railroad crossing in Central Jakarta.