Indonesia to build 7-km bridge linking islands near Singapore

Indonesia plans to build a 7 km bridge to connect two islands in the Malacca Strait, close to Singapore, as part of efforts to develop industry and tourism in the area, the government said on Thursday.

The bridge connecting Batam and Bintan islands will cost an estimated 4 trillion rupiah ($284.35 million), the office of the cabinet secretary said in a statement on Thursday, and will be the longest in the Southeast Asian country.
The bridge aims to capitalise on expansion of Singapore’s Changi Airport with the development of a new Terminal 5, which will have transport connections to Bintan.
President Joko Widodo, in his second term, which starts in October, has pledged to continue building infrastructure to cut bottlenecks Southeast Asia’s largest economy.
The bridge project was first introduced in 2005, and Widodo, during a campaign event in April, had vowed to complete the construction of the bridge, according to a report in the Jakarta Post. 
Indonesia is trying to market Batam, the only free trade zone in the country, to investors looking to relocate factories out of China amid a simmering trade war between Beijing and Washington.
Construction of the bridge is expected to start in 2020 and take three to four years to complete, the release stated.