Sat, 26 Feb 2000

Alternative route to airport proposed

TANGERANG (JP): The local mayoralty office proposed on Friday widening two roads leading to the western entrance gate of the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport to be used as an alternative route connecting Jakarta and the airport.

Administration spokesman Sabar Situmorang said the proposal for the broadening of Jl. Karangsari Raya (known as Jl. Pembangunan 3) and Jl. Suryadarma would cost some Rp 10.6 billion (US$1.4 million).

The plan was disclosed earlier in the day to related officials, such as executives from the airport authority PT Angkasa Pura II, the state-owned PT Jasa Marga toll road operators and the developer of the Pantai Indah Kapuk housing complex.

"The proposal has got a positive response. Hopefully, the project could be started in the upcoming 2000 fiscal year," Sabar said.

Late last year, heavy flooding swamped sections of the Cengkareng toll road, the main route to the international airport from Jakarta, leaving hundreds of vehicles stranded and causing delays in the departures of several flights.

The flood, which is believed to have been caused by a combination of heavy rain, monsoon conditions in nearby Jakarta Bay and the poor quality of the road, lasted for four days. Many airlines postponed flights due to the late arrival of passengers and crew.

Only buses and trucks were able to ford the waters, which in places were more than 75 meters high.

Some people who tried to use alternative roads, such as those in the Kapuk area, were trapped in heavy traffic jams.

A few weeks later, the city's Public Works Agency dug canals on both sides of the inundated sections of the toll road.

The alternative route as proposed by the Tangerang mayoralty office passes along Jl. Karangsari Raya and Jl. Suryadarma, and is already popular among Tangerang residents.

In the past, the entrance gate situated on the western side of the airport -- which can only be reached from Jl. Suryadarma -- was only for airport employees and flight crew.

However, other people, including aircraft passengers, were allowed to enter through the gate after paying security staff at least Rp 1,000 per vehicle.

Nowadays, the fare has been officially set at Rp 2,000 per vehicle.

Both roads are narrow, with passing space for only two cars, and are currently in a poor condition.

According to Sabar, the extension project for the two roads is crucial in anticipation of similar flooding during future rainy seasons.

"Traffic jams often occur on the other alternative route of Jl. Daan Mogot-Jl.Halim Perdanakusuma-Jl. Hussein Sastranegara," he said.

With the widening of the roads, motorists could easily reach the airport entering through the western entrance gate, he said.

One of the access routes proposed to reach the roads is via the Jakarta-Merak toll road, followed by Jl. Kebon Nanas, Jl. Perintis Kemerdekaan. Jl. Veteran, Jl. Sudirman, Jl. Karangsari and Jl. Suryadarma.

They can also be reached via the Lippo Karawaci toll road and then Jl. Imam Bonjol, Jl. Otista, Jl. K.Sk Tubun, Jl. Simpang Tujuh and Jl. Suryadarma.

From Ciledug, the route can be reached via Jl. Ciledug Raya, Jl. H.O.S. Cokroaminoto, Jl. Hasyim Ashari, Jl. Sudirman, Jl. Karangsari and Jl. Suryadarma.

Sabar said the 2,500-meters-long Jl. Karangsari and the 4,100- meters Jl. Suryadarma would each be widened to 10 meters.

"The widening of the roads will cost Rp 4.868 billion and Rp 5.782 billion respectively," he said. (41/asa/bsr)