Sunda Strait Bridge


Sunda Strait Bridge

The Sunda Strait Bridge is a planned road and railway connection between the two Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Java. After years of discussion and planning, eventually in October 2007 the Indonesian government gave the initial go-ahead for what will become the world’s longest suspension bridge, across the 26km (16mi) Sunda Strait.

The $10bn project is for a series of bridges carrying a six lane highway and double track railway traversing the three islands of Prajurit, Sangiang and Ular in the strait. The longest span is projected to be about 3km, which is more than 50% longer than the longest existing structure, the Akashi-Kaikyo bridge in Japan. According to officials in the consortium that plan to build the bridge, construction would begin in 2012 if feasibility studies confirmed it was viable, with the first travelers crossing in 2025.

The project's greatest challenge is the fact that the strait lies in one of the world's most dangerous earthquake zones. Sumatra is frequently rocked by significant tremors and more than 230,000 people were killed when a 9.0-magnitude quake in December 2004 triggered a tsunami. Many active volcanoes lie in the area, including Krakatoa only 40km away, that has erupted repeatedly, massively, and with disastrous consequences throughout recorded history. The best known eruption culminated in a series of massive explosions on 26-27 August 1883, which killed tens of thousands of people.

The bridge would significantly cut the travel time between the islands, which takes several hours by ferry. Some 20 million people crossed the strait in 2006 and the figure is forecast to double by 2020. It would relieve mounting pressure on Java, home to 130 million people, whereas the population of the whole of Sumatra, which is three times larger in area, is 47 million. The capital Jakarta lies some 100km (65mi) to the east (on Java) of the strait.

Sources

* [http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/b971a73c-71c4-11dc-8960-0000779fd2ac.html Indonesia plans world’s longest bridge - Financial Times]
* [http://www.metrotvnews.com/berita.asp?id=46677 Prastudi proyek jembatan Jawa-Sumatra dimulai - MetroTVNews.com]
* [http://www.lampungpost.com/cetak/berita.php?id=2007100203130311 Pemprov Pelajari Seluruh Aspek Jembatan Selat Sunda - Lampong Post]


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