Indonesia’s plan to build the world’s longest suspension bridge to connect Java and Sumatra moved a step closer to completion when a study was presented to the central government.

Completion of the “pre-feasibility” study for the planned 32-kilometer bridge, with an estimated price tag of $10.07 billion, came almost two years after it was commissioned. The study was conducted by PT Bangungraha Sejahtera Mulia, a subsidiary of Artha Graha Networks, a business owned by tycoon Tommy Winata.

According to the study, the bridge is expected to boost Banten’s economic growth by 2 to 8 percent, and Lampung’s by 4 to 11 percent.

The plan calls for a series of spans carrying a six-lane highway and a double-track railway traversing the Sunda strait and the islands of Prajurit, Sangiang and Ular. The longest span of the bridge is projected to be about 3 kilometers, more than 50 percent longer than the longest existing span, on the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge in Japan. The bridge could be operating by 2020, with construction to start in 2012. The bridge would greatly improve the flow of traffic between Java and Sumatra, where around 80 percent of the country’s population lives. And 20 million passengers and 1.7 million tons of cargo crossed the Sunda Strait by ferry in 2006, and the figures were expected to double by 2020. “The bridge’s presence is vital”.

Source: The Jakarta Globe

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