TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The construction of the Medan-Kuala Namu-Tebing Tinggi tollway has officially begun after the Minister of Public Works Djoko Kirmanto laid the cornerstone of the project, which signifies the official start of the construction of the project in Deli Serdang Regency, North Sumatra, on Tuesday, September 23, 2014.
Djoko said that the Medan-Kuala Namu-Tebing Tinggi tollway is a part of a larger Trans-Sumatra tollway network, and is expected to play an important role in easing the movement of people, goods, and services from Kuala Namu Airport to the rest of the region, as well as a main contributor to the economic growth of Sumatra - in particular, the province of North Sumatra - in its' own right.
"The tollway is one of the Ministry of Public Works' project which is geared towards supporting the Economic Acceleration and Expansion Masterplan (MP3EI) by increasing the capacity of Sumatra's road network, which forms the main part of Sumatra's Economic Corridor," explained Djoko.
The Medan-Kuala Namu-Tebing Tinggi tollway is divided into two sections and will span for 61.80 kilometers. Section I is the 17.80 kilometers stretch between Medan-Perbarakan-Kuala Namu, while Section II is a 44 kilometers segment between Perbarakan and Tebing Tinggi.
Four lanes will be constructed in the initial phases of construction, with one lanes added on each direction at the final stage of construction. The speed limit on the tollway is proposed to be set at 100 km/hour.
Djoko added that although this project makes perfect economical sense, it is not financially sound - as such, Djoko believes that the construction of the tollway needs further financial support from the government for it to continue without a hitch.
The minister said that the rights to operate the Medan-Kuala Namu-Tebing Tinggi tollway has been granted to a consortium of state-owned companies - which includes the state highway corporation Jasa Marga, PT Pembangunan Perumahan, Waskita Karya, and Hutama Karya - who won the tender on September 4, 2014.
The consortium is set to sign the Toll Road Concession Agreement (PPJT), which will be effective for 40 years. The PPJT will grant the consortium the right to construct Section II of the tollway, as well as the operational and maintenance rights to Section I and II.
"The construction of Section II requires an investment of Rp5.6 trillion, which will be funded by the equity of the highway operators (BUJT) and loans from financial institutions," said Djoko.
To date, the land acquisition process for Section I has reached 81.32 percent, whereas 81.40 percent of the land required to build Section II has been acquired. Djoko hopes that land acquisition processes could be completed by 2015.
"Works on Section I has reached 13.5 percent, and construction is expected to be completed by 2016, whereas we aim to finish Section II by 2017," added Djoko.
ANTARA | EDY SUJATMIKO | ELLA SYAFPUTRI