President Joko Widodo has inaugurated the first toll road in Kalimantan; the 58.74-kilometre long Balikpapan-Samarinda toll road, at the section of the Samboja-Samarinda.
“This is the first toll road on the island of Kalimantan. Thank God, the construction of section 2, 3, and 4 of the Balikpapan toll road to Samarinda has been completed today and can be utilised,” President Joko Widodo said on Tuesday 17th December 2019.
The Balikpapan-Samarinda toll road consists of five sections, covering an area of 99.3 kilometres, while sections 2-4 connects Samboja-Samarinda along 58.47 kilometres.
“There are two more sections, namely sections 1 and 5, but earlier I asked the Director of Jasamarga, these sections will be completed, hopefully no later than April 2020,” added the president.
The obstacles to the construction of sections 1 and 5, according to the president, are due to issues of land type. “All land acquisition has been completed, the problem now is the land is soft. I think it has been decided that here they will use stakes because it is indeed soft land, the land is moving,” said the president.
He said that he hopes that the toll road construction can increase speed and efficiency in the mobility of people and goods. “Usually, from Balikpapan to Samarinda and Samarinda to Balikpapan it takes approximately 3 hours, 6 hours for a round trip. When using the new toll road, it will take only 1 hour or 1 hour 15 minutes, so we can really get speed and efficiency,” explained the Jokowi.
According to President Jokowi, the toll road will also facilitate the effectiveness of the two growth centres in East Kalimantan, Samarinda and Balikpapan, which are cities of business and economic activity. “Secondly, this toll road will also push production areas such as industries in the palm oil sector, coal, oil, gas, and agricultural commodities which are directly connected to the distribution area,” the president continued.
With reference to the relocation of the capital, Jokowi said, “I request that in 2020 the road to the new capital area should be prepared and truly connected between the Balikpapan-Samarinda toll road and to the capital region and also connected to the two airports in Samarinda, namely Pranoto Airport and Sepinggan Airport in Balikpapan.”