Benoa Bay’s controversial reclamation is no longer the only big mega-project looking to change South Bali as we know it.
The Badung regency government has started work on a Rp 21 billion bridge in Sawangan, Nusa Dua that’s meant to connect to a larger ring road proposed for South Bali that would basically outline the Bukit Peninsula.
Construction for the Nikko Sawangan bridge component started in mid-March and is scheduled for completion in December this year.
“This is a project of the Badung Department of Highways,” Sawangan Nikko Bridge Project Manager Anak Agung Sastra Prasetya told Tribun Bali on Monday. “The bridge’s construction is its own project, but will support access to the shortcut on the ring road from Pandawa to Uluwatu.”
The ring road itself is forecasted to around Rp 900 billion (!!) and is designed to run nine kilometers, circling from Nusa Dua to Jimbaran.
While it sure sounds nice to be able to get around Bukit faster (Jl. Uluwatu especially can be such a schlep on weekends), the sketch of the project looks like it would just cut into the beautiful cliff-sides of Bukit, which would effectively scar what makes this area so special.
The head of the Badung Department of Highways and Irrigation, Ida Bagus Surya Suamba said the road would be as wide as 30 meters and would run along the edge of the beach. Some sections would be built using floating construction to adjust to geographical conditions, he said.
The DPRD (regional legislative council) hopes that the road’s positioning, hovering over the ground would make it less environmentally destructive.
“The (amount of) people is continuing to grow, but the land is not increasing. Therefore, we should look for new ways to break the bottleneck that has been complained of in South Badung. We should follow the example of Surabaya, which now has a flyover. With the concept of ‘floating,’ we no longer need to damage the environment. In addition, damage to the asphalt will also be slowed,” I Nyoman Oka Widyanta, vice chairman of DPRD’s Commission II, told Tribun Bali.
“This is an extraordinary project,” Suamba likewise stated, but he added that Badung will desperately need the help of the central government to be able to financially support it.
To demonstrate the regency’s commitment to the project plan, a detailed design of the project is being finalized and is meant to be submitted along with the budget proposal in 2017, according to Tribun.
The project was apparently submitted to the central government by Badung Regent Nyoman Giri Prasta.
Other than money, Badung is facing other obstacles such as land access—some of the land that the proposed ring road would run through is still in dispute.
At the end of the day, this project seems to be all about building more infrastructure to support the arrival of even more tourists, which is sad but not all that surprising.
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