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Jakarta Post

Trans-Java toll road to open at midnight but drivers may experience bottlenecks

  • Suherdjoko

    The Jakarta Post

Semarang, Central Java   /   Sun, January 20, 2019   /   06:04 pm
Trans-Java toll road to open at midnight but drivers may experience bottlenecks On the road again: President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo (left), accompanied by Public Works and Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono (center) and Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, inspects the newly completed Bandar Interchange in Jombang, East Java, on Thursday. Jokowi has inaugurated a total of seven sections of the trans-Java toll road, which stretches from Merak, Banten, to Surabaya, East Java. (Antara/Puspa Perwitasari )

The government has slated Monday as the day when the 938-kilometer trans-Java toll road will open fully from Merak in Banten to Pasuruan in East Java, although several issues remain unresolved.

For example, from Semarang to Surakarta in Central Java, the toll road will still use smaller local roads such as Jl. Suprapto for the Ungaran exit and Jl. Tingkir Raya for the Salatiga exit. The use of the smaller local roads is expected to create bottlenecks and congestion during peak times.

The toll road, a source of pride for President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s administration, will finally connect the country’s two biggest cities by road: Jakarta and Surabaya in East Java.

Yudhi Krisyunoro, the president director of PT Trans Marga Jateng, the operator of the toll road, said on Saturday during a press conference that he was aware of the problem. He said the operator had communicated the matter to the Public Works and Housing Ministry’s Directorate General of Roads Bina Marga.

“We hope the government will look into it,” he said.

He said the government had procured land to widen Jl. Tingkir Raya for the Salatiga exit.

Another problem is damage to the road at kilometer 321 along the Pemalang-Batang segment in Central Java. The operator of that part, PT Pemalang Batang Tol Road, said it would repair the cracks along 30 meters of road and complete the work by Sunday, hours before the opening of the full toll road.

The company’s technical and operational director, Arman D. Panjaitan, said on Saturday that rain had caused the damage at kilometer 321.

The toll to use the road between Jakarta and Surabaya is Rp 660,500 (US$46.41). For the first two months motorists will enjoy a 15 percent discount on some of the segments.

In June last year, during the Idul Fitri exodus and return journey, holidaymakers used parts of the toll road, at that time spanning about 760 km. Of this length, 524 km was fully finished, with drivers paying to use it, while 235 km was “functional” but not yet fully operable.

The government will expand the road to the easternmost regency on Java’s mainland, Banyuwangi. From Merak to Banyuwangi, the road will span 1,167 kilometers. The longest trip right now, from Merak to Grati in Pasuruan is Rp 775,500.

On Jan. 21 tolls will be levied on the following segments for the first time, Pemalang- Batang, Batang- Semarang, Semarang-Surakarta, Salatiga-Kartasura all in Central Java. The three segments were officiated by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Dec. 2018.

The government has divided the road into four clusters: Cluster I comprises Jakarta-Cikampek and Cikampek-Palimanan; Cluster II comprises Palimanan-Kanci, Kanci-Pejagan, Pejagan-Pemalang, Pemalang-Batang and Batang-Semarang; Cluster III comprises Semarang-Surakarta, Surkarta-Ngawi, Ngawi-Kertosono, Kertosono-Mojokerto and Mojokerto-Surabaya; and Cluster IV comprises Porong-Gempol, Gempol-Pandaan and Gempol-Pasuruan.