JAKARTA: Indonesia will start building a 7km bridge to connect two islands close to Singapore next year, as part of efforts to develop industry and tourism in the area.
The bridge connecting Batam and Bintan islands will cost an estimated 4 trillion rupiah (US$284.35 million), the office of the Cabinet secretary said on Thursday (Jul 11), and will be the longest in the Southeast Asian country.
The bridge aims to capitalise on the expansion of Singapore’s Changi Airport with the development of a new Terminal 5, which will have transport connections to Bintan.
President Joko Widodo, who has made building infrastructure the cornerstone of his first term in office, has pledged to continue cutting bottlenecks Southeast Asia’s largest economy in his second term, which starts in October.
His administration has also sought to market Batam, Indonesia’s only free trade zone, to investors looking to relocate factories out of China amid a simmering trade war between Beijing and Washington.
Construction of the bridge is due to start in 2020 and take three to four years to complete, the office said.
During a campaign event in April, Widodo vowed to complete the construction of the bridge, according to a report by Jakarta Post.
The bridge project was first introduced in 2005, said the report.