President Jokowi Inaugurates Balikpapan-Samarinda Toll Road in E. Kalimantan
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, on Tuesday (24/08), inaugurated the Balikpapan-Samboja section (Section I and Section V) of the Balikpapan-Samarinda toll road, at the Manggar toll gate, Balikpapan, East Kalimantan.
The inauguration marks the completion of the construction of the first toll road on the Island of Kalimantan which spans 97.27 kilometers.
“This afternoon, thank God, all 97.3 kilometers of the Balikpapan-Samarinda toll road have been completed. This is also a historic moment because the Balikpapan-Samarinda toll road is the first toll road on the Island of Kalimantan. This is an achievement that we should be grateful for,” said the President.
The President said that infrastructure development must be evenly distributed throughout the country. “We want infrastructure development not only to be focused on the Island of Java or Sumatra, but also to other islands,” he added.
In general, the Balikpapan-Samarinda toll road consists of five sections. In addition to Section I of the Karang Joang-Samboja section (21.66 kilometers) and Section V of the Manggar-Karang Joang section (10.74 kilometers), there are also Section II of the Samboja-Muara Jawa section (30.98 kilometers), Section III of the Muara Jawa-Palaran section (17.30 kilometers), and Section IV of the Palaran-Simpang Mahkota 2 section (16.59 kilometers). The three sections were inaugurated by the President in 2019. The toll road will cut Balikpapan-Samarinda travel time by up to 50 percent.
President Jokowi expressed hope that through the completion and functioning of this toll road, new points of economic growth in East Kalimantan will emerge. In addition, it is also expected to improve the logistics network so that it becomes faster and more efficient while at the same time stimulating increased competitiveness, especially for commodities produced in East Kalimantan.
“Access is getting smoother so it can reduce logistics costs. And, of course, export products from this province will have high competitiveness, making the economy in East Kalimantan Province more efficient and competitive,” he remarked. (DND/UN) (FI/MMB)