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Bali's Highways in the Sky

Bali Hopes to Start Building a Suspended Flyover at Simpang Siur Intersection in 2010.

(1/30/2010) The national news service Antara reports that governor I Made Mangku Pastika views the building of suspended overpass roads around the Dewa Ruci Monument (Simpang Siur) as the "way out" of Bali's current traffic congestion dilemma.

Pastika said: "I feel that the construction of suspended overpass roads around the Dewa Ruci Monument is the alternative to traffic congestion offering the best solution. Moreover, this approach has obtained a positive response from community and religious leaders."

The governor explained that efforts to reduce the number of vehicles in Bali were not realistic options, making the construction of suspended overpass roads a viable option. "It is impossible to reduce the number of vehicle which contradicts our desire to maximize the number of tourists to Bali," said Pastika.

The Central Government has pledged to help fund the construction which, together with a "thumbs up" from religious authorities who now endorse the project, mean the construction of the new roads appears increasingly likely. In the past, strong objections from Hindu religious leaders opposed to the potential desecration posed by "stacking people" on roadways has prevented plans for suspended highways or tunnels from being considered. Recently, perhaps in partial response to Bali's growing traffic problems, religious leaders have tempered their outright opposition to such plans.

The governor says the suspended overpass roads are being designed, fueling his hope that the actual construction of the project can commence in 2010.

Suggestions from some sources that underground tunnels offer a better solution to Denpasar's traffic congestion were rejected by the Governor as too costly. "The cost of tunnels is very high, it can cost five to ten times more that building suspended overpass highways. What's more, the geography and contour of the land in that area do not permit tunnels," explained Pastika.