President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) inaugurated the Manado Bitung toll road for the Manado-Danowudu section of 26 kilometers.
"Alhamdulillah, the 26-kilometer Manado-Bitung toll road for the Manado-Danowudu section has been completed, has been completed, and can now support business activities and facilitate public transportation," President Jokowi said at the Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java, Tuesday.
President Jokowi inaugurated the toll road through a "video conference" accompanied by State Secretariat Minister Pratikno and Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, while Minister of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) Basuki Hadimuljono, Governor of North Sulawesi Olly Dondokambey was present at the Manado Toll Gate, Manado City."
Later, when these sections are completed, the length will reach 40 kilometers, the gate is only 9 kilometers or 12 minutes from Sam Ratulangi Airport, so it is very close," President Jokowi said
According to President Jokowi, for people who will travel from Manado to Bitung or vice versa, the transit time will be much faster.
"What used to be taken for 1.5 hours is now only half an hour, this is speed, a change in pace that has changed," said President Jokowi. President Jokowi also acknowledged that the Province of North Sulawesi (Sulut) has a lot of economic potentials that must continue to be developed.
"There is a fishing industry, especially in Bitung, there is the agricultural sector, the plantation sector, and many tourism destinations. The development of these sectors really requires infrastructure support, including toll roads," President Jokowi said.
The Manado-Bitung Toll Road is also designed to be integrated with industry and tourism areas in North Sulawesi so it will speed up access, become easier to reach, more quickly recognized, and easier to develop.
"With this toll road, logistics costs from the international port of Bitung can also be reduced, so it is more efficient, competitiveness will automatically increase, the Special Economic Zone of Bitung can also be developed to be more advanced," President Jokowi said.
The Manado-Bitung Toll Road is operated by PT Jasamarga Manado Bitung (JMB), a business group of PT Jasa Marga (Persero) Tbk and was built with the concept of Public-Private Partnership (PPP).
The longest toll road on the island of Sulawesi comprises two sections, section I Manado-Airmadidi along (14.9 kilometers) built by the government and section II Airmadidi-Bitung (25.1 kilometers) built by PT JMB.
Various other tourist objects in Sulawesi will also experience easy access with this toll road, such as the Rumah Alam Manado Adventure Park, Kima Atas waterfall, Lembeh Mangrove forest, Tangkoko National Park, Gunung Dua Saudara, and other beaches. (Antaranews)