More elevated roads for Jakarta
Andreas D. Arditya. The Jakarta Post, Jakarta - 26/11/2010
Expecting traffic to worsen in Jakarta, the city administration announced on Thursday that it began constructing two elevated roads in areas notorious for traffic congestion.
Work has already begun on the elevated roads, connecting Jl. Pangeran Antasari and Blok M in South Jakarta and Kampung Melayu in East Jakarta to Tanah Abang in Central Jakarta.
The city will spend an estimated Rp 2.2. trillion (US$246.4 million) on the project, which is expected to continue until 2012. City Public Works Agency head Ery Basworo said the construction was expected to aggravate traffic in the construction areas, especially when workers start erecting the pillars for the 12-meter-high roads.
“We can’t do it any other way. The construction project will definitely cause traffic jams. We want the public to understand this,” Ery said.
The work to erect the pillars alone would take one year, Ery said.
To mitigate the impact on traffic, construction is expected to take place between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. only, as heavy machinery would take up at least two lanes of the existing road.
The Antasari-Blok M elevated road will be 4.8 kilometers long and will straddle Jl. Pangeran Antasari, Jl. Prapanca Raya, Jl. Sultan Iskandarsyah and Jl. Sultan Hasannudin – all in South Jakarta.
The Kampung Melayu-Tanah Abang road will add a 2.3-kilometer strip to the section above Jl. Casablanca and Jl. Dr. Satrio in South Jakarta and Jl. K.H. Mas Mansyur in Central Jakarta.
A special section of the elevated road above the Casablanca underpass, connecting Jl. Casablanca and Jl. Dr. Satrio, will be raised to 20 meters to provide space for the planned monorail project cutting through Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said.
The city administration said the elevated roads were urgently needed given the worsening traffic in those areas. Jakarta Transportation Agency head Udar Pristono said the planned roads would improve the city’s “road ratio” — the number of vehicles to the length of road available — and could cut traffic congestion by 30 percent.
Governor Fauzi Bowo said earlier that the decision to develop the elevated road network had to be made as there was no space left for new roads at ground level.
Jakarta has 7,650 kilometers of road that expand by only 0.01 percent annually. Currently, Jakarta is home to 11.3 million motor vehicles with the number continuing to grow, and 1,500 new motorcycles and 500 new cars enter the roads every day.
Critics have blasted the elevated road plan, saying that it would only encourage the use of private vehicles and that the city should spend its money on additional public transportation.