Those who love to travel around on a bicycle will soon be able to cover way more ground and explore the Island of the Gods on two wheels, as the government has officially launched the bike-friendly Gilimanuk-Mengwi Toll Road project with construction slated to begin in June.
In case you’re not familiar with Bali just yet, Mengwi pretty much covers many of the island’s tourism hotspots such as Seminyak and Canggu, while Gilimanuk is the home for the Gilimanuk Port that connects Bali with Java Island.
“This will be the first turnpike in Indonesia with bicycle lanes. Because [Bali] is a tourism region so we have to modify [the highway] with what the tourists need,” said Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono.
The toll road project agreement was signed yesterday by Basuki, Bali Governor Wayan Koster, and PT Tol Jagat Kerthi Bali president director Tito Sulistio yesterday. The project’s investment is estimated at IDR24.6 trillion (US$1.7 billion).
The Gilimanuk-Mengwi Toll Road is expected to further boost Bali’s road connectivity and tourism sector, which is slowly waking up after officially reopening for international visitors.
Plans for the turnpike show it will measure 96.84 kilometers in length, which will be divided into three sections: Gilimanuk and Pekutatan (54.7 kilometers), Pekutatan and Soka (23.17 kilometers), and Soka and Mengwi (18.9 kilometers).
Currently, it takes around three hours to drive from Gilimanuk to Mengwi and vice versa either via Jalan Raya Denpasar or Jalan Singaraja. The new toll road is expected to cut travel time to one hour or one-and-a-half hours at most. Similarly, the travel time between Jembrana and Badung can be expected to be significantly reduced as well.
Basuki revealed the speedway was originally planned to be erected in the middle of the island, but the government put the kibosh on the plan over environmental concerns.
The Gilimanuk-Mengwi Toll Road will begin construction in June and is scheduled to be finished in November 2024.
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