Fri, 09 May 2008
From: The Jakarta Post
By Oyos Saroso H.N., The Jakarta Post
The government is slated to begin construction next year of the country's longest and most expensive bridge, linking Sumatra and Java islands, a year ahead of schedule.

Lampung Governor Sjachroedin Z.P. said Thursday the government would start work on the 29 kilometer bridge across the Sunda strait early in a bid to boost economic activities in Sumatra.

The bridge, connecting Bakauheni in Lampung with Merak in Banten, will cost about US$10 billion over the next 15 years, Sjachroedin said.

"All the governors in Sumatra want the development to begin soon and they expect it won't burden the government financially," he said, adding the bridge was expected to be operational by 2025.

Public Works Minister Djoko Kirmanto said the construction costs would be shouldered mainly by private investors, with the central government financing only 5 percent of the project.

"We will attract investors to finance the bridge development by offering them incentives," he said. (rff)



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