Wed, 24 Sep 2003

Motorists can expect worse, before relief

Motorists driving through the Senen, Tomang and Cawang areas must be prepared for more traffic jams in the next couple of years because of the ongoing construction projects in those places.

Worsening congestion has occurred at the Tomang intersection, West Jakarta, after an overpass project began last week.

Motorists on the Tangerang-Jakarta toll road during peak hours have suffered worsening congestion all the way from Karang Tengah toll gate, which is around nine kilometers from Tomang.

Head of the bridge division at the City Public Works Agency Ery Baswono said on Tuesday that the three projects were expected to ease traffic congestion in those locations and would be financed using the 2003 and 2004 city budgets.

The underpass project in Senen, Central Jakarta, will divert traffic under the railway and cost about Rp 80 billion (US$9.41 million). The figure is the highest among the three followed by the Cawang project at Rp 50 billion and Tomang at Rp 40 billion.

"The city has only allocated Rp 9 billion for each project this year. More money is expected to be allocated in next year's budget," he said.

Ery said that it would be difficult to ease traffic congestion in the areas while construction was underway.

"Ideally, we should have had more space to divert cars temporarily for the projects. But it is unlikely because the surrounding areas are packed with buildings."

Ery could only promise that motorists would be better off in about two years when the projects are completed.

He also announced that the agency would open traffic on two overpasses in Kuningan and Pancoran in South Jakarta in late October. An underpass on Jl. Pramuka, Central Jakarta, and an overpass on Jl. Daan Mogot, West Jakarta, are expected to be done by June 2004. -- JP