Construction on the underpass being built near Bali’s airport to break up the heavily congested area should hopefully begin by August 2017, according to officials.

The underpass, to be called Underpass Simpang Tugu Ngurah Rai, will be built at the roundabout just off Ngurah Rai Airport, directly connecting the southern stretch of the Ngurah Rai By Pass (from Jimbaran) to the northern stretch of the bypass (to Sunset Road).

This roundabout is the main point for getting in and out of the airport, as well as for those going west from Sanur or those coming to and from the Bukit Peninsula, so traffic can get quite blocked.

The Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) previously said that the underpass needs to be completed by the IMF-World Bank annual meeting, which is set in Bali for October 2018.

So construction should begin later this year, says head of the National Road Implementation Agency (BPJN) Denpasar, AA Gde Sanjaya.

“The work is targeted to begin in August or September 2017 until August 2018. It will be a 12-month period,” Sanjaya said during a regional council meeting, as quoted by Tribun Bali.

The underpass is now planned to stretch 712 meters long and 17 meters wide.

“The underpass will be 712 meters in length, making it longer than the Dewa Ruci Underpass. Later, this underpass will start in front of the GrandMas Hotel towards the airport runway,” Sanjaya said.

Funds for the bypass’s development plan will be made using a multiyear system, so Rp 49.6 billion will be allocated for 2017, while Rp 160 billion will be allocated for 2018.

The auction process for firms to bid on the design and construction of the underpass kicked off on May 6, 2017.

One of the major challenges of construction for the underpass will no doubt be its proximity to the airport, thus restricting height limits. While another challenge will be the removal of a gas pipeline across from Benoa Bay.

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