In Jakarta, we are used to all road construction projects moving along at a snail’s pace while slowing down the already horrible traffic to a near standstill (weep for those who have to live along roads where MRT construction has been going on for years).
But not all Jakarta construction projects need take forever. If you don’t regularly pass by the perpetually macet Semanggi clover connecting Jalan Sudirman to the Jalan Gatot Subroto toll road (and who could blame you for trying to avoid it), you may not have even realized that major construction on the new overpass system, which aims to untangle the clover’s eternal gridlock, was tantalizingly close to being finished.
And last night, the final segment of the overpass was put into place.
As Jakarta Governor Basuki Ahok Tjahaja Purnama, who was defeated in last week’s runoff elections, notes in the Facebook post above, construction on the project started just over a year ago on April 8, 2016, was completed last night. He also notes that a study has shown that the new overpass system should accelerate the traffic flow around the area by up to 37%, which will come as fantastic news to all of the commuters who have to pass through the area.
1 tahun yg lalu sejak groundbreaking, simpang semanggi akhirnya selesai menyatu. simbol klo birokrasi bener, kerjaan pasti cepet selesai.. pic.twitter.com/Y5d6uMAiN7
— 𝙅𝙤.𝙣𝙖𝙥 (@jnessy_) April 26, 2017
Indonesia’s Minister of Public Works and Public Housing, Basuki Hadimuljono, praised the incredible pace of the overpass’ construction, saying “I and the Minister of Transportation came here to appreciate the work of (construction company) PT Wijaya Karya, which has proven that if we work more seriously, the work can be faster while still with the best quality possible,” as quoted by Kompas last night.
Despite the major construction work being completed, the new overpass system will not be open to traffic for some time yet. They still need to put some finishing touches on the pavement, parapets and lighting, and then it needs to undergo extensive safety checks. The plan is for the overpasses to be fully operational by August.
Transport Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said he was impressed with the new overpass from an architectural standpoint and said that it could become another icon of Jakarta just like Bunderan HI.
Construction on the new overpass system has been budgeted at Rp 360 million. One overpass ramp will allow cars on Gatot Subroto coming from Grogol to directly exit Sudirman going towards Blok M, while the other will allow cars from from Cawang to exit directly onto Sudirman heading towards Thamrin.