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As part of the preparation for the annual meeting between the International Monetary Fund and World Bank that will be held in Bali on October 2018, as well as part of the project to further improve the infrastructure quality of the island of Bali as the archipelago’s top tourism destination, the Ministry for Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR), in collaboration with Bina Marga, has laid the groundwork for the building of Underpass Simpang Tugu Ngurah Rai.

Basuki Hadimuljono, the Minister of PUPR, stated that the Ministry is ready to carry out the project if Bali’s Provincial Government and Badung District are committed in ensuring the availability of the land for the site.

“The IMF annual meeting is a very important international agenda,” said Hadimuljono, as reported by Gatra, during his visit to the underpass’ site on Saturday (01/04). “That’s why the government is giving full support to the regional government so that the event can proceed efficiently.”

Also attending the site visit were the Badung Regent, I Nyoman Giri Prasta; the Director General of Bina Marga, Arie Setiadi Moerwanto; the General Inspector of the Ministry of Public Works, Rildo Ananda Anwar and other concerned heads of departments.

Moerwanto said that the underpass is expected to be completed before the IMF meeting so there will be no major traffic in the main access road to Ngurah Rai Airport and will be connected to Bali Mandara’s toll gate.

“We have traffic problems here due to the number of vehicles coming from Bali Mandara toll to the airport, and from Nusa Dua to Denpasar,” Moerwanto said. “The underpass will connect the route from Sanur to Nusa Dua. The length will be 600 meters.”

He further noted that one of the project’s challenges was the close distance of the site to the airport, therefore they’re not able to utilize huge construction equipment as to not disturb landing or departing flights.

“The design’s concept is finished, now it’s only a matter of speeding up the construction through the use of technology so we can complete it in one year.”

Moerwanto added that several public facilities must be moved during construction, one of them the gas pipes from Teluk Benoa to the airport.

“The cost is estimated to be around IDR200 billion. We will soon request a tender—for design and build—so that the process can start immediately and handled by a single contractor.” Every detail for the tendering process will be prepared in the following month, and they’re aiming for the tender bid to start in three months’ time.

“And five months after that we plan to start construction. In the meantime, we will also start clearing land and moving the utilities, one of them the gas pipes previously mentioned.”

Other than building the Simpang Tugu Ngurah Rai Underpass, Moerwanto revealed that they also plan to add another lane at the Udayana intersection of the By Pass.