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A Victory for the Underground in Bali

Bali Now Committed to Build Underpass at Simpang Siur Intersection.

(10/2/2010) Bali Post reports the latest chapter in efforts to overcome traffic congestion at the Simpang Siur intersection near Kuta, Bali. According to the paper, plans for an overpass highway at the busy intersection have now been abandoned in favor of a new plan to construct underpasses.

The decision was announced by a member of Commission III of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali), I.B. Gede Udiyana, after a meeting with the governor and the island's regents on Thursday, September 30, 2010. The latest decision will address fears of the Badung regency government regarding the removal of the Dewa Ruci monument, considered by many Balinese to be an essential local landmark.

At the same meeting, the governor reportedly warned that concerns over ground water must be carefully addressed in building underpasses, bearing in mind the high water table surrounding the intersection. The governor called for new detailed engineering plans and budgets be drawn up to reflect the change in plans from overpasses to underpasses.

According to Udiyana, the cost of building the underpass will be borne by the central government .

Previously, the cost of building an overpass at the intersection was put at Rp. 900 billion (US$100 million) with a cost of Rp. 45 (US$5 million) billion for land acquisition in support of the project.

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