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The Left and Right Hand of Planning in Bali's South

Plans to Build a Sanur-Tanjung Benoa Toll Bridge at Odds with Plans to Turn Benoa into a Cruise Terminal.

(12/26/2008) As reported on balidiscovery.com, plans to build a toll bridge connecting Serangan Island (Sanur) and Tanjung Benoa have been put on indefinite suspension by the refusal of Bali's Governor to include a yearly budget "installment" that would allow the project to proceed. [See: A Troubled Bridge over Balinese Waters].

The future of the toll bridge was called into further question when the Benoa port managers, Pelindo III, recently pointed out that the current plans to build the toll bridge over the Benoa port's entrance would automatically put to an end to plans to develop the port for cruise shipping.

Radar Bali quoted the Benoa Port Administrator, I Wayan Suarta, as telling a group of visiting legislators that the height of the proposed bridge would create a barrier to visiting cruise ships. Suarta explained: "Cruise ships would be barred by the toll bridge. The smallest cruise ship is 35 meters high while the height of the toll bridge is only 30 meters."

While on-again-off-again toll bridge, if it is ever constructed, would put an end to plans for a cruise port in South Bali, port managers are nonetheless moving ahead with developing the marina complex for yacht shipping by dredging the port area and creating supporting infrastructure. Should the toll bridge be eventually built, then all cruise ships would be compelled to seek port at the new Tanah Ampo facility neat Karangasem on Bali's eastern coast. Cruise passengers would then have to travel either by road to the southernmost past of the Island or use smaller fast ferry vessels to travel down the coats to the centrally located Benoa port.

Benoa port authorities report that ten cruise ships carrying a total of 2,016 passengers called on Benoa in 2007. Through November 2008 seven cruise ships carrying 913 people called on Benoa.

On another level, the planning imbroglio underlines the lack of coordination between those backing the provincial initiative to construct the toll road bridge and national plans to develop cruise shipping at Benoa.