JAKARTA - Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) ordered that the Sei Alalak Bridge, South Kalimantan, which connects Banjarmasin City with Barito Kuala Regency to Central Kalimantan, be opened immediately.

"That's right, the President requested that the Alalak Bridge be opened immediately. We are currently coordinating with the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing," said Head of the Presidential Secretariat Heru Budi Hartono in a written statement from the Press, Media and Information Bureau of the Presidential Secretariat received in Jakarta, Sunday, September 26.

Previously, residents of South Kalimantan urged the Sei Alalak Bridge to be opened immediately. The bridge, which is located in South Kalimantan Province, connects Banjarmasin City with Barito Kuala Regency, to Central Kalimantan Province.

The area is often hit by traffic jams after the North Ring Road was badly damaged due to flooding. The insistence of the residents of South Kalimantan has received the attention of President Jokowi. Knowing the importance of opening this bridge for the public, the President requested that this bridge be opened immediately.

Heru said that the opening of the bridge could be carried out with limited operational trials until the inauguration.

"The types of vehicles that are allowed are only two-wheelers and passenger cars," said Heru, quoted from ANTARA, Sunday, September 26.

Meanwhile, Minister of Public Works and Public Housing Basuki Hadimuljono expressed his party's readiness to carry out President Jokowi's directives.

"We have carried out a final check of the condition of the bridge and it is ready to be opened according to the direction of the President," Basuki said as quoted by the official statement from the Press Bureau of the Presidential Secretariat.

Basuki said that his party would coordinate with the South Kalimantan Provincial Government and the South Kalimantan Regional Police.

"We will coordinate with the Transportation Service of the South Kalimantan Provincial Government and the South Kalimantan Police regarding the coordination for this limited operational trial. And also to carry out escort and security," said Basuki.

Basuki asked the public to obey traffic rules. In addition, he also requested that two-wheeled vehicles and passenger cars not park or stop on the bridge.

“We are worried that because the bridge is new, people want to stop to see the bridge or take pictures. Please, for our common interest, we are orderly and obey traffic rules," said Basuki.

Furthermore, Basuki asked the public to maintain cleanliness and order in the bridge area.

The construction process of the Sei Alalak Bridge was completed on Friday, September 24, 2021. This bridge was built to replace the Kayu Tangi 1 Bridge which is about 30 years old and will also provide enormous benefits for the community's economy.

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