Today in Transportation History – March 31, 2009: Indonesia Opens its Longest Bridge

In Indonesia, the main span of the Suramadu Bridge was connected successfully in a midnight ceremony. The bridge, which crosses the Madura Strait between the city of Surabaya on the island of Java and the town of Bangkalan on the island of Madura, had been built by the Indonesian construction companies PT Adhi Karya (Persero) and Waskita Karya in partnership with China Road and Bridge Corporation and China Harbor Engineering Company Ltd. (“Suramadu” is a portmanteau of “Surabaya” and “Madura”.)

As a part of the ceremony for the new bridge, Hermanto Dardak, Director of Highways for Indonesia’s Ministry of Public Works, and Zhang Qiyue, the Chinese ambassador to Indonesia, each pressed buttons to initiate the linkup of both sections of the main span. “The bridge is one of the most significant cooperative projects between China and Indonesia,” said Ambassador Qiyue. “With the closing process completion and the bridge in operation, the bridge can provide smooth traffic for both Surabaya and Madura residents and make its own contributions to the local economic and social development.” The bridge was officially opened to the public approximately 10 weeks later.

The Suramadu Bridge became the first bridge to cross the Madura Strait. Measuring nearly three-and-a-half miles in length, the structure also holds the record as Indonesia’s longest bridge.

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