PADANG, presidentpost.com – President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has inaugurated the groundbreaking of Padang-Pekanbaru toll road first phase construction which will connect Padang to Sicincin.
“Alhamdulillah (thank God) we can start the 254-kilometer Padang-Pekanbaru toll road,” said President Jokowi when inaugurated the construction of Padang-Sicincin toll road at the Bypass Street Kilometer 0, Padang, West Sumatra, on Friday (2/9).
The president said that once the construction of this toll road finished, the travel time from Padang to Pekanbaru and vice versa will be shortened from currently 9 (nine) hours to become only 3 (three) hours.
Therefore, the president said he believed the construction of the toll road will be able to facilitate the movement of people and business world so that the economic growth will rise.
“If we want to win the competition with other countries, the very fundamental and very basic thing we must do first is building the infrastructure. That’s because the infrastructure will make the transportation and logistics costs much cheaper,” said Jokowi, adding when the costs of logistics and transportation drop, Indonesia’s competitiveness will increase.
The head of state also affirmed that the infrastructure will strengthen the promotion of tourism in West Sumatra. He said the beautiful scenery of West Sumatra has the potential to be developed, especially with the support of good infrastructure.
“With good infrastructure, the number of visitors may become double, triple, even four or five times. It speeds the mobility of people from one city to another, traveling from one regency to another region becomes faster,” said the president.
Meanwhile Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) Minister Basuki Hadimuljono in his report said that the construction of the Padang-Pekanbaru toll road requires an investment of around Rp78 trillion.
“The project is planned to be carried out in 2018-2023. There will be a 7-kilometer tunnel done with the JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) loan,” Basuki said.
The construction of the Padang-Pekanbaru toll road will be conducted in three stages, namely Phase I of Padang-Sicincin with a length at 28 kilometers, Phase I of Bangkinang-Pekanbaru at 38 kilometers, and Phase III of Sicincin-Bangkinang at 189 kilometers. (SETKAB/TPP)