Denpasar Police’s Traffic Unit has mapped out alternative routes to be used during the upcoming construction of an underpass in front of Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport but it’s not exactly clear when the alternative routes will be imposed.
While the announcement socializing the construction plan map says the alternative routes will take effect from October 1, 2017 to August 30, 2018, as of Friday, Oct. 6, traffic has still been flowing as usual around the Ngurah Rai roundabout.
Coconuts Bali has reached out to Polresta Denpasar as well as the Traffic Unit to clarify when exactly motorists must start using the alternative routes.
The routes are far from direct, as the main artery connecting the Bukit Peninsula to the rest of the island will have to be cut off at some point during construction and people will have to use the Bali Mandara Toll to go around.
About 40 police personnel will be deployed at critical points in the alternative routes to help facilitate traffic, which will no doubt be dense during the development of the Simpang Tugu Ngurah Rai Underpass.
“Police are preparing alternative routes and personnel to be deployed from Sunset Road and the Sunset Road intersection, Benoa Square, and Udayana, to help conduct,” Denpasar Police Traffic Unit Chief Rahmawaty Ismail said on Wednesday, as quoted by Tribun Bali.
Ismail said Denpasar Police has been executing several stages of socialization of the plans for the alternative routes to the community.
“The socialization stage, the coordination meetings, have been completed,” he said.
Ismail said that while these are the planned alternative routes, they may actually change at any time.
“We are appealing to you to pay attention to the alternative routes. We have already distributed the information. We suggest that people use the toll road,” Ismail said.
The underpass is targeted for completion by the IMF-World Bank meeting in September 2018.
“The work will be divided into three zones, namely in the middle of the roundabout, the south side, and the north side of the roundabout,” said Nyoman Yasmara, a representative for the contracting agency for the National Road Building Association.
“We estimate that by the second or third week of October, we will be finished drilling out the structure for the underpass wall,” Yasmara said.
The development of the underpass comes as the Bali Mandara Toll–which links to the Ngurah Rai roundabout–just went cash-free. Starting on Oct. 1, the toll stopped taking cash and now only accepts electronic payment. Though socialization for the switch had gone on for over a month before the big change, people were not quite prepared, and lines to get on the toll were apocalyptic-level long. We can only imagine the same sort of chaos will ensue once the roundabout gets blocked off.