The Jakarta Post
Completion of the 62-kilometer-long Cisumdawu toll road, which will connect Bandung and Kertajati International Airport in Majalengka, West Java, is facing land clearing problems, particularly in two sections.
Such issues cast a shadow over its completion target set at the end of this year.
"From our observations, the construction of sections 1, 2, 3 and 6 have gone relatively well while land clearing at section 4 and 5 have not finished yet," said Transportation Ministry Budi Karya Sumadi after attending a meeting at the Office of Coordinating Maritime and Investment Minister in Jakarta on Monday to discuss the problem.
The toll road’s sections 1-3 connect Bandung and Sumedang, while sections 4-5 link Sumedang and Cirebon, all in West Java, before the last section ends at Kertajati airport.
On that basis, the Transportation Ministry suggested that the highway be partially operated during the 2020 Idul Fitri exodus, which will fall in May this year. The construction of sections 1-3 and section 6, which have reached around 70 percent completion, are expected to be finished in the near future.
The ministry’s land transportation director general, Budi Setyadi, said the ministry would propose a traffic plan during the Idul Fitri exodus in which travelers could use the highway’s sections 1, 2 and 3 before exiting the toll road to alternative roads. They can go back to use the highway’s last section 6 to reach Kertajati or remain on the road.
The partial operation of Cisumdawu toll road with the help of national roads to substitute the unfinished sections 4 and 5 could cut travel time to 97 minutes from around 150 minutes at the time, Budi Setyadi said.
"If we can optimize the national and provincial roads by getting rid of all obstacles along the way, we can even cut travel time to 61 minutes. That's what we want to pursue," said Budi, adding that the ministry would send a letter to the Public Works and Housing Ministry to discuss the matter.
The completion of Cisumdawu toll road is highly anticipated as it will boost the accessibility of Kertajati International Airport and cut travel time from Bandung to the airport to only one hour or less from around 2.5 hours today.
Land acquisition has been an obstacle for the toll road’s construction, in addition to hilly terrain that poses another challenge for the developers, as the contour makes excavation and hoarding works difficult.