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The Name Escapes Us

Bali Prepares to Open 12.7 Kilometer Long Toll Bridge in July While Struggling to Find the Right Name for the New Road

(6/14/2013) Tollbooths are in place, lighting is being installed and finishing touches applied preparatory for a trial operation of the new Benoa-Ngurah Rai-Nusa Dua toll road on its way to a formal inauguration by the Indonesian president in July 2013.

A suspended bridge traveling 12.7 kilometer over a tidal basin, Bali is touting the new road a “the most beautiful in Indonesia.”

The Bali Hai Way?

As reported by The Jakarta Post, Bali is still unsure how to officially name the new road. Bali governor Made Mangku Pastika is in favor of the Soekarno-Hatta toll road in honor of Indonesia’s first president and vice-president. Said Pastika: “In my opinion, Soekarno-Hatta is the best name for the toll road. However, we need to discuss it as many other names have been proposed. We should respect our founding fathers. Without their struggles, we would not be able to enjoy our life as it is nowadays. We already have roads named I Gusti Ngurah Rai, Ir. Soekarno, and many others. But we are yet to have Soekarno-Hatta.”

Meanwhile, others are lobbying in Bali to name the road after influential Balinese. Among the names proposed are Wayan Lotring who was a legendary musician and dancer and Prof. Ida Bagus Mantra – a former governor of Bali who already has a major road way named after him;

Prior to the former inauguration of the road a formal Balinese religious blessing will be carried out on July 10, 2013.

The new road cost US$243.6 million and stands on 34,000 concrete pillars.

The toll road is part of an infrastructure renewal program for Bali that also includes a massive renovation of the Bali Ngurah Rai Airport and the recently opened underpass at the Dewa Ruci Monument at Simpang Siur. The projects have been undertaken in anticipation of the APEC Summit to be held in Bali in October.

The director of PT Jasa Marga Bali, the owning company of the road, Akmad Tito Karim, told the press: “Not one foreigner was involved in the project, from its planning to its supervision. It is totally designed by Indonesian people.”

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