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The Ida Bagus Mantra By-Pass highway that connects Denpasar and Karangasem is back on track as it is slated to resume construction in 2018 starting from Kusamba, Klungkung to Padangbai, Karangasem.

Two hills—Abah and Angan Telu in the Manggis District—will reportedly be cut to make way for a tunnel. I Wayan Arthadipa, Karangasem’s Deputy Regent, remarked that the Ida Mantra By Pass project from Kusamba to Padang Bai is already included in the Detail Engineering Design (DED). Shortly people from Balai Besar Jalan Surabaya [the body in charge for the implementation of national roads] will be on the field for the socialization purposes regarding land acquisition.

“For now, the By-Pass project only reaches Kusamba,” said Arthadipa, as quoted by Tribun Bali. “We’ve suggested to extend it to Amlapura City but the route included in the current DED merely covers Kusamba – Padang Bai. We already have the construction layout.”

Arthadipa explained that the Bagus Mantra By Pass will traverse the road behind Pura Goa Lowah and Pura Andakasa up to Padang Bai. From the layout, the construction will pass several hills, and it’s likely they’ll have to be cut down to make way for a tunnel.

“The 2018 project will cover three to four kilometers and later we’ll continue it to Amlapura,” Arthadipa added. “Prior to construction, the first process is land acquisition and clearing, and that could get difficult. Presently the regional government is waiting for instructions from Balai Besar Jalan Surabaya; they’re merely facilitating the project. This is the Central Government project, including the funding.”

He hopes that the completion of the By Pass can facilitate residents’ activities, as well as to boost the local economy since the new road will provide easy access to previously remote regions. “The purpose for the extension of the Ida Bagus Mantra By Pass is to boost the Karangasem economy.” (And obviously to make the car and bus trip to the port of Padangbai and more importantly, the transport of fuel from the Pertamina port easier. Ed.)

Besides the extension of the By Pass, Karangasem’s government has also suggested to resume the development of Jalan Lingkar Seraya (the Seraya Ring Road) that connects Seraya Village with Culik Village as voiced by residents since it could further contribute to local revenue. “It’s under consideration to be included in the Feasibility Study in 2018. We hope that the 40km road can be part of the national road [or main highway].”

The Seraya Ring Road just commenced construction in 2015 starting from Jasri Village up to Ujung Hyang Village.