"Normally it takes at least three hours to travel one way from Balikpapan city to Samarinda city and six hours both ways. The toll road will cut the driving time by at least an hour and 15 minutes," Jokowi remarked during the opening ceremony at the Semboja toll gate in Kutai Kertanegara district, East Kalimantan Province, Tuesday.
The toll road spanning of 99.3 kilometer-long comprises five sections, but only three have been completed and ready to be in service. Sections two, three, and four connecting Samboja and Samarinda has become operational from today, the President added.
"We are working on sections one and five. I have asked (the toll road operator state-owned) Jasa Marga and the president director informed me it would be completed by late April 2020," Jokowi remarked.
The land structure in the last two sections is less dense compared to the others, he explained. The state-owned constructors PT Wijaya Karya and PT PP will use the pile slab to build the remaining two sections.
The Balikpapan-Samarinda toll road will connect two economy hubs in East Kalimantan Province where the new capital city will be relocated in the next five years.
Connectivity remains the President's concerns as he expected to increase efficiency in terms of distributing logistics and commodities such as coal, palm oil, oil and gas. "In 2020, I expect there will be a highway connecting the new capital city (in the districts Kutai Kertanegara and Penajam Paser Utara) to the toll road and the Pranoto Airport as well as Sepinggan Airport in Balikpapan," he stated. (INE)
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