The Jakarta Post
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo inaugurated three sections of the Balikpapan-Samarinda toll road in East Kalimantan on Tuesday. It is the first toll road to be built in the Indonesian section of Borneo.
The second, third and fourth sections of the road, which make up 58.7 kilometers of its eventual 99.3 km, are expected help cut travel time and facilitate the efficient movement of goods and services, Jokowi said.
“This is the first toll road in Kalimantan and we hope that from this development, the speed and efficiency of goods, people and logistics will be enjoyed [by the public],” said Jokowi in Samboja, Kutai Kertanegara regency, in East Kalimantan.
“The toll road will encourage the development of production areas for palm oil, coal, oil and gas and agricultural commodities, which will be directly connected to distribution areas.”
The remaining two sections of the toll road, namely the first and fifth section, the President added, would be completed by April 2020.
Jokowi said he hoped the toll road would improve connectivity between Balikpapan and Samarinda, two of the province’s largest cities. When the toll road is in full operation, the travel time between the two cities will be reduced to just over an hour. The journey used to take 3 hours.
Jokowi added that the Balikpapan-Samarinda toll road would be connected to Indonesia’s new capital city, which will be built in a 256,000-hectare area straddling North Penajam Paser regency and Kutai Kartanegara regency.
“I want the road to the new capital city to be finished and connected to the Balikpapan-Samarinda toll road by 2020,” he added.
N. Adri contributed to this article from Balikpapan.