President Joko Widodo, left, and Papua Governor Lukas Enembe, center, press a bottom to open the Youtefa Bridge in Jayapura, Papua, on Monday. (Antara Photo/Gusti Tanati)

Jokowi Inaugurates Papua's Longest Bridge


OCTOBER 28, 2019

Papua. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo officially announced the completion of the 732-meter Youtefa Bridge in Papua on Monday, more than four years after he led the groundbreaking ceremony back in May 2015.

The bridge, named after a strait it crosses, connects the provincial capital Jayapura and Muara Tami district. 

"I'm happy to be able to inaugurate the Youtefa bridge on Youth Pledge Day," the president said, referring to the Oct. 28, 1928 historic gathering of young people across the archipelago to cement their determination to unite under one nation and speak the same language.

Jokowi said the bridge's completion reflected the government's commitment to build more infrastructure in Papua and West Papua, making them equal to other provinces in the country.

"I want to make sure the land of Papua continues to be built and is never forgotten in our path toward a developed Indonesia that we all love," Jokowi said.

"Papua is like a small heaven on earth, that's what I see whenever I visit Papua," Jokowi, who has now visited the easternmost province 13 times as president, said.

The president was accompanied by first lady Iriana, Papua Governor Lukas Enembe, State Intelligence Agency head Budi Gunawan, Indonesian Military commander Chief Air Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto and other dignitaries.

The bridge will cut travel time between Jayapura and the border area in Muara Tami district from 3.5  hours to 30 minutes. 

It was built by a consortium of state-owned construction firms, including Pembangunan Perumahan, Hutama Karya and Nindya Karya.

The construction cost Rp 1.8 trillion ($128.5 million), funded by the provincial and central governments. In addition to the bridge, the government also built 11 kilometers of connecting roads around it.  

It was initially named the Holtekamp Bridge, but was changed at the suggestions of tribal leaders.