Jakarta: The Directorate General of Highways of the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) is completing the final stages of construction of the Palopo Bridge in South Sulawesi Province.
PUPR Minister Basuki Hadimuljono remarked that the construction of roads and bridges had an important role as the backbone of development of inter-regional connectivity in order to facilitate the distribution of logistics in Indonesia.
"Smooth connectivity will reduce the cost of transporting logistics and encourage regional economic growth," Hadimuljono noted in a written statement on Tuesday.
The 100-meter-long bridge was built permanently in a bid to restore connectivity of the main axis road linking Palopo City and North Toraja District after the landslide disaster in mid-2020.
The new Palopo Bridge was built to replace the old bridge that was damaged by landslides. The Directorate General of Highways, through the National Road Implementation Center (BBPJN) of South Sulawesi, had built a suspension bridge for two-wheeled vehicles to support temporary flow of traffic after the disaster.
"Since the width of the landslide is around 60-70 meters, the Directorate General of Highways has decided to build a bridge at the location of the broken road, so when heavy rain and landslide occur, it does not block road access as the landslide debris will flow under the bridge," BBPJN South Sulawesi officer, Wido Kharisma, remarked.
According to Kharisma, construction of the Palopo Bridge, measuring a length of 100 meters and a width of seven meters, uses a steel frame using the Lead Rubber Bearing (LRB) technology with seismic joints that are useful for reducing shocks during an earthquake. The bridge design is intended for vehicles with the heaviest axle load (MST) of 10 tons.
"Currently, the construction has reached 97-percent completion, with pending minor repairs and equipment. The weather conditions would hopefully support our efforts to complete the work since extreme weather poses an obstacle. There are high cliffs around the bridge. Hence, if it rains heavily, landslides are prone to occur,” Kharisma expounded.
After the construction is completed, the South Sulawesi BBPJN will conduct a load test first with the related stakeholders, as the Palopo Bridge is included in the criteria for a special bridge spanning 100 meters.
Furthermore, the infrastructure can operate to facilitate the flow of logistics and also the mobility of people of South Sulawesi, especially Palopo City and North Toraja District.