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Bali to Lobby Jakarta for Serangan-Tanjung Benoa Bridge

Local Legislators Want Toll Bridge to Be Built in South Bali Despite Limitations it Will Impose on Benoa Port Development.

(6/26/2010) After the Bali Council (Dewan Bali) met recently with the Minister of Transportation, the hope was expressed that the governor of Bali would soon send a letter to the Central Government underlining the urgent need for a toll road connecting Serangan Island and Tanjung Benoa (STB). Radar Bali reports that the subject letter has yet to be dispatched.

Governor Made Mangku Pastika insists that time is needed to properly compose such a letter. In recent exchanges with Jakarta it was revealed that the central government's desire for a minimum clearance of 44 meters under the bridge way was at variance with Bali's plans to build a bridge with only 33 meters of clearance in order to avoid a structure with a height that would represent a hazard to aviation.

Explained the governor, "We have to formulate (the letter) first to avoid sending a flawed communication."

The chairman of Commission III of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali), Agus Suradnyana, in an earlier announcement, stated that the purpose of the letter from the governor was to underline Bali's wishes for the lower clearance bridge at the entrance to the busy port of Benoa.

"In the Jakarta meeting it was clear, if Bali chooses the STB toll bridge, Benoa will be unable to handle cruise ships and other larger ships, for which the port at Tanah Ampo is being prepared. And automatically this will help spread out development away from the over developed south of the island." Explained Suradnyana.

It now remains for the governor to persuade Jakarta to allow Bali to go ahead with the toll bridge in order to reduce congested traffic conditions on the island.

Suradnyana's position was supported by the vice-chairman of the DPRD-Bali, Ketut Suwandhi who is urging the governor to quickly send a letter to the Minister of Transportation in order to pressure Jakarta to quickly approve the project.

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