Friday, April 19, 2024

President inaugurated road, airport infrastructure projects in Central Sulawesi

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President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo held a working visit to Central Sulawesi Province on March 26, 2024, inaugurating 15 road sections totaling 147 kilometers (km) and renewals of five airports. 

The road construction, which spread across nine districts/cities in Central Sulawesi, and the five airports across Sulawesi, cost trillions of rupiah.

“These 15 road sections totaling 147 km cost IDR 330 billion (US$ 19 million),” President Jokowi said.

Jokowi hopes that the inauguration of these regional roads will contribute to advancing infrastructure in the region, supporting the mobility of residents, and improving the quality of life in Central Sulawesi. The road development also includes the construction of 66 bridges.

The project involves minor asphalt works covering 500 meters and the construction of 10 box culverts. Additionally, existing roads, currently 4.5 meters wide, will be widened to meet national road width standards of 7 meters.

This is necessary as the roads in this central corridor serve as vital arteries connecting Central Sulawesi, North Sulawesi, and Gorontalo for logistics distribution and are favored routes for commuters. During the event, Jokowi reiterated the government’s commitment to evenly distribute infrastructure development across the country.

“I believe it’s not just here; in other provinces as well, the government will monitor all activities related to regional roads,” the president said on Tuesday, March 26, 2024. 

Accompanying the President at the inauguration ceremony were Minister of Public Works and Housing Basuki Hadimuljono, Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin, Vice Governor of Central Sulawesi Ma’mun Amir, and Acting Regent of Banggai Islands Ihsan Basir.

Airport infrastructure renewal

On the occasion, President Joko Widodo also inaugurated the construction and rejuvenation of five airports in Sulawesi with a total value of IDR 2.27 trillion. Jokowi aims for airport rejuvenation to accelerate the mobility of residents and logistics flow within and outside Sulawesi. 

The refurbishment of several airports is a follow-up to the reconstruction projects following the earthquake and tsunami disasters that struck the west coast of Sulawesi Island in September 2018. One of the affected airports was Mutiara Sis Aljufri Palu Airport.

Jokowi said that the reconstruction of Mutiara Sis Al-Jufri Airport was built with a budget of Rp 567 billion. The airport now has a runway measuring 2,510×45 meters. The latest specifications of Mutiara SIS Al-Jufri Airport are claimed to accommodate flights and landings of narrow-body aircraft with cabin widths of 3-4 meters.

“A few years ago, there was a severe earthquake in Palu, and the damage to Mutiara Sis Aljufri Airport was significant. The runway and terminal were damaged, prompting the government to undertake rehabilitation,” Jokowi said.

During that moment, Jokowi recounted the challenges encountered during the distribution of aid to Palu earthquake victims. At that time, several airports were damaged, hindering the optimal distribution of aid packages. 

“I remember that I couldn’t even send aid because the airports couldn’t be used,” he said.

In addition to Mutiara Sis Aljufri Palu Airport, Jokowi also rebuilt four other airports:

1. Prins Mandapar Banggai Laut Airport valued at IDR 276 billion

2. Taman Bung Karno-Siau Airport costing IDR 599 billion

3. Bolaang Mongondow Airport worth IDR 391 billion

4. Panua Pohuwato-Gorontalo Airport with a budget of IDR 437 billion.

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