"The toll road can now serve to support business activities and facilitate public transportation," President Jokowi stated at the Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java.
The president inaugurated the toll road through a videoconference accompanied by State Secretariat Minister Pratikno and Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, while Minister of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) Basuki Hadimuljono and Governor of North Sulawesi Olly Dondokambey were present at the Manado Toll Gate, Manado City.
"Later, when all these sections are completed, the length will reach 40 kilometers. The gate is only nine kilometers or 12 minutes from the Sam Ratulangi Airport. Hence, it is very close," President Jokowi remarked.
President Jokowi believes that the travel time will be shorter for people commuting from Manado to Bitung or vice versa.
"What earlier took 1.5 hours, will now only take half an hour. This is the speed," President Jokowi noted.
President Jokowi also acknowledged the vast economic potential of North Sulawesi (Sulut) Province that should continue to be developed.
"There is a fishing industry, especially in Bitung, and also the agricultural sector, plantation sector, and several tourism destinations. The development of these sectors really requires infrastructure support, including toll roads," Jokowi noted.
The Manado-Bitung Toll Road is also designed to be integrated with industry and tourism areas in North Sulawesi, so that it will expedite access.
"With this toll road, logistics costs from the international port of Bitung can also be reduced, so that it is more efficient, and thereby also automatically increase competitiveness, while the Special Economic Zone of Bitung can also be developed to become more advanced," President Jokowi noted.
The Manado-Bitung Toll Road is operated by PT Jasamarga Manado Bitung (JMB), a business group of PT Jasa Marga (Persero) Tbk, and was built on the concept of Public Private Partnership (PPP).
The longest toll road on Sulawesi Island comprises section I Manado-Airmadidi, stretching 14.9 kilometers, built by the government and 25.1-kilometer section II Airmadidi-Bitung built by PT JMB.
The toll road to become operational is 26 kilometers in length and the one still in the construction phase spans 14 kilometers, with a target to fully operate in June 2021, specifically for the Danowudu-Bitung section. Construction work has, until now, reached 77.61-percent completion, while the land acquisition has reached 99.23-percent completion.
With this toll road becoming operational, there will be integrated access to the Bitung International Port and the Bitung Special Economic Zone (KEK) to support the Manado-Bitung-Likupang National Tourism Strategic Area (KSPN).
The Manado-Bitung Toll Road will have a total of five Toll Gates (GT), specifically the Manado GT, Airmadidi GT, Kauditan GT, Danowudu GT, and Bitung GT and have two rest areas, located at STA 3 + 000 in the direction of Manado and STA 3 + 500 in the direction of Bitung, and will be equipped with five interchanges and 12 bridges.
Investment of Rp5.12 trillion was used for developing the Manado-Bitung Toll Road, the work for which began in 2017, with a concession period of 40 years.
This toll road will enable easy accessibility to various other tourist attractions in Sulawesi including the Rumah Alam Manado Adventure Park, Kima Atas waterfall, Lembeh Mangrove forest, Tangkoko National Park, Gunung Dua Saudara, and other beaches. Related news: Jokowi to inaugurate Pekanbaru-Dumai toll road on Friday virtually
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