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Getting the Run Around at the Roundabout

Land Acquisition Problems are Delaying the Construction of Bali's First Highway Underpass.

(3/26/2011) Plans to build an underpass at the busy Simpang Siur roundabout in Kuta are said to be at an impasse. BeritaBali.Com reports that prolonged arguments over land acquisition threaten to leave the project in suspended animation together with the many thousands of drivers who often find themselves motionless on the clogged arteries of Bali's road system.

The land acquisition dilemma was tabled to the press by the head of the operations department for National Road Building from the Department of Public Works, Susalit Alias, in Bali on March 23, 2011. According to Susalit, in order to build the proposed 435-meter underpass, the central government in Jakarta has allocated Rp. 311 billion (US$34.5 million). From that figure, Rp. 261 billion (US$ 29 million) is designated for the construction work with the remainder for land acquisition.

Said Susalit: "Although everything is set for the underpass construction to go ahead, we can't start the project in the near future. We have yet to receive a report from the Badung regency regarding the land needed to build the underpass. If the land acquisition is completed, then we can contract for the construction work in July 2011."

The underpass project is also under pressure from Indonesia's President who has called for all new road construction projects and renovations to Bali International Airport to be completed ibefore the 21st Cooperative Forum for the Asia-Pacific Economy (APEC) scheduled to be held in Bali in 2013.