The Solo-Kertosono (Soker) toll road’s Solo-Sragen route, stretching 25 kilometers, will be partially ready to serve homebound travelers for the upcoming Idul Fitri holiday. Cars can travel along the stretch of road, but only in one direction.
Travelers can pass the Soker toll road starting in the morning through to the afternoon. The road must be closed during the night because its lights have not yet been installed. Currently, construction firm PT Solo-Ngawi Jaya (SNJ) is still preparing the installment of road safeguards and road signs.
SNJ director David Wijayanto said homebound travelers from Surakarta could enter the Soker toll road from the Klodran toll gate in Karanganyar. They will exit the toll road from the Kemiri toll gate in Karanganyar or Pungkruk in Sragen.
After the Idul Fitri holiday, the travelers returning to big cities can enter the Soker toll road either via Kemiri in Karanganyara or Pungkruk in Sragen. They will exit the toll road from the Klodran gate in Karanganyar.
“We are preparing the Solo-Sragen toll road as an alternative for homebound travelers during Idul Fitri. Its condition is still limited, however. Only private vehicles are allowed to use this toll road. Buses and trucks cannot. We also ask drivers to drive their vehicles at a speed of only 40-60 kilometers per hour because this toll road is only half complete,” said David in a recent interview.
In preparation – Construction workers work on part of the Soker toll road. (thejakartapost.com/Ganug Nugroho Adi)
Overall, David said the progress of the construction of the Soker toll road, which is part of the trans-Java route, was varied. The first part of the Solo-Sragen route, which connects Kartasura with Karanganyar, is 85 percent complete. But the Karanganyar-Sragen route is only 38 percent complete.
Although the Soker toll road is not yet 100 percent complete, David assured those concerned that his company had prepared measures to prevent unnecessary accidents. The company will, for example, install safeguard signs, deploy patrol officers, provide crane vehicles and ambulances and coordinate with nearby hospitals.
David said there were 20 spots prone to accidents along the Soker toll road.
Meanwhile, Sri Baskoro, the head of traffic at the Surakarta Transportation Agency, said it was hoped the Solo-Sragen route could reduce the density of vehicles passing through Surakarta. He is optimistic that traffic congestion will be reduced by up to 20 percent with opening of the toll road.
“Every Idul Fitri, there are an additional 700,000 vehicles that pass through Surakarta. The Soker toll road will hopefully reduce the traffic density,” said Sri. (ebf)