Jakarta. Indonesia's Public Works and Housing Ministry intends to complete a 929.7-kilometer stretch of a toll road connecting Java's westernmost city of Merak to Surabaya, the capital of East Java, by the end of this year, according to a statement released on Thursday (04/01).
The Merak-Surabaya toll road will be part of the TransJava toll road which will connect Merak to Java's easternmost city of Banyuwangi.
The TransJava toll road, when completed, will stretch for 1,167 kilometers from West to East Java.
"We want the [Merak-Surabaya] toll road to be at least partly ready by June this year so it can help with the Idul Fitri exodus," Public Works Minister Basuki Hadimuljono said in the statement.
"We expect all land acquisition for the project to be completed by January, so we can move on to construction straight away," he said.
So far, a total of 561 kilometers of the TransJava toll road has been completed and are already in use.
Construction is still going on in the remaining parts, totaling 606 kilometers.
At some sections of the toll road, construction has been halted by land acquisition problem.
Nevertheless, minister Basuki said the problems with clearing land for the toll road is now "nearly 100 percent solved."
The Indonesian government expects the TransJava toll to improve access to remote cities on the island and reduce logistic costs.
Java — the most populated island in the Indonesian archipelago — contributes more than 50 percent of Indonesia's economic growth each year.
The TransJava toll road will reportedly cost the government more than Rp 50 trillion ($3.5 billion) to build.