President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said on Friday that the 2,765 kilometer trans-Sumatra toll road project was expected to be completed in 2024 to connect Lampung on the eastern tip of Sumatra to Aceh on the northern tip of the island.
“In June, we hope the trans-Sumatra will reach Palembang, [the capital city of South Sumatra]. It means that we will have constructed 350 km,” Jokowi said while inaugurating the operation of the 140.9 km Bakauheni-Terbanggi Bedar toll road, which is part of the trans-Sumatra toll road project.
In December 2018, Jokowi officiated the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Banda Aceh-Sigli toll road in Aceh, which is also part of the trans-Sumatra toll road project.
The President expressed the hope that the newly inaugurated toll road in Lampung would accelerate economic growth in the province. He also believed that the new infrastructure would help boost investment needed by the province to create more jobs.
During the event at the toll gate in Tanjungsari subdistrict, South Lampung regency, President Jokowi was accompanied by First Lady Iriana, State-Owned Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno, Public Works and Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono, Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung and Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi.
Meanwhile, Lampung Governor M. Ridho Ficardo expressed his optimism that the integration of Bakuheni Port with the trans-Sumatra toll road project would provide a boost to economic development in Lampung and other provinces in Sumatra.
“Today is a historical event due to the connection of the trans-Sumatra toll road with executive pier [of Bakauheni seaport]. Hopefully, Sumatra will become a new economic growth center after Java,” Rudho said as quoted by tempo.co when accompanying President Jokowi at the event.
He particularly hoped that it would boost investment in South Lampung, both in the manufacturing industry and tourism. (bbn)