"I am upbeat about this Youtefa Bridge being cared about and kept clean," President Jokowi remarked while inaugurating this 732-meter-long and 21-meter-wide bridge at around 3:30 p.m. local time.
The president expected that the bridge, whose construction began in 2015 and cost around Rp1.8 trillion, would help to boost the province's economic development.
In the meantime, Deputy Minister of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) Wempi Wetipo had earlier stated that the construction of Youtefa Bridge is part of President Jokowi's commitment to speeding up infrastructure development in Papua Province.
Hence, Wetipo urged the people, at large, especially those residing in Jayapura, the capital city of Papua, to maintain this long bridge.
"Please take care of this bridge. Do not vandalize it again. This is proof of a president's commitment to us," he noted, adding that President Jokowi really cares for the rapid development of infrastructure facilities in Papua.
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President Jokowi never had a half-hearted commitment to developing Papua. Hence, the people of Papua should laud him by maintaining and taking care of the facilities, including the bridge, that his administration has built, he pointed out.
Wetipo drew attention to President Jokowi's focus on Papua also being apparent from the appointment of native Papuans, including himself, as his cabinet members.
Built over Youtefa Bay to link Jayapura and the districts of Muara Tami in Papua and Skouw of the neighboring country Papua New Guinea, the bridge was constructed by a consortium of state construction companies: PT PP, PT Hutama Karya, and PT Nindya Karya.
In April 2018, President Jokowi reviewed the progress in its construction during which he was upbeat that this long bridge would give rise to new economic centers in Jayapura and the nearby areas.
The project, the construction for which began in 2015, is already 80 percent complete. It will cut short the time required to reach Skouw border from Jayapura, from 2.5 hours to 60 minutes.
Papua and West Papua have come under the radar of both the Indonesian and foreign media after a spate of violence broke out in several parts of these two Indonesian provinces in August and September 2019. Related news: Jokowi instructs to expedite post-riot rehabilitation work in Wamena
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