The Suramadu Bridge is a famous bridge of Surabaya that crosses the Madura Strait and connects the Java Island to Madura Island. The famed bridge is 5,438 meters in length, making it the longest bridge in the Indonesia. The presence of the new bridge has brought tremendous positive effects to the island of Madura.
Compared to other areas in the East Java region, the island of Mandura has had a rather sluggish development rate. The construction of the bridge was then intended to speed up development of the Mandura Island when it comes to its economic field and infrastructure. The bridge was actually the original idea of Indonesia’s founding president Sukarno back in 1960. His vision was to develop infrastructure to further accelerate the progress of the different islands of the East Java region, one of which is the Mandura Island. Sufficient air, land and sea transportation options were some of the most pressing challenges the region was constantly having to face. It was only President Sukano’s daughter, then President Megawati Sukarnoputri, who officially started the mega project in 2003. The opening of the bridge was then inaugurated by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono six years after its construction in June of 2009. The estimated cost to construct the bridge was at 4.5 trillion Rp.
The Suramadu National Bridge is actually a combination of three types of bridges, the causeway or the overpass, the bridge approach and its main bridge. The Flyover Causeway Road is part of the bridge that connects the road construction to shallow waters. The flyover consists of 36 spans over 1,458 meters on the Surabaya side and 45 spans over 1,818 meters on the Madura Side. The approach bridge on the other hand connects the causeway and the main bridge together. Finally, the main bridge is further divided into three parts, two sides that extend to 192 meters long and one main extension of 334 meters. The width of the bridge is at 3.5 meters with a 2.75 meter-wide lane for emergencies.
The main bridge is further strengthened by use of a case that is supported by twin towers of 140 meters high. To accommodate passing cruise ships, cargo ships and large boats, the bridge provides an allotted space of 35 meters above sea level. It was known that this part of the bridge hampered its development as it became difficult to accommodate such requirements during the middle of construction. Furthermore, it then caused construction costs of the bridge to swell.
At night, the spectacular bridge turns into a colorful form that depicts a dancing fountain over the sky. Aside from being the longest bridge in Indonesia, the Suramadu Bridge is the first toll bridge of the country with toll fares at 30,000 Rp for four-wheeled vehicles and 3,000 Rp for two wheeled-vehicles.
The possibility of accessing the nearby Madura Island has been convenient with the completion of the Suramadu Bridge. Although the Suramadu project plays only a small part in the ultimate goal to bridge the gaps between many Indonesian islands, the bridge has certainly brought immense economic benefits to the four million persons residing in Madura Island.