Singapore Strait crossing

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Approximate location of a Singapore Strait crossing (red).

The Singapore Strait crossing is a proposed tunnel spanning the Singapore Strait and linking Singapore with the Riau archipelago of Indonesia, most likely with the island of Batam. In the early 1990s the Riau Islands experienced an major economic boom in response to the development of an industrial estate on Batam,[1] located 15 km (9 mi) southeast of Singapore. Singapore and Batam currently are connected only by ferry service.

Indonesian legislator Harry Azhar Azis recommended that the government work with Singapore to develop a fixed link, suggesting a bridge across the Singapore Strait would give Indonesia better access to the Asian continent following the implementation of the free trade agreement between ASEAN and China[2] Likewise, proponents in Singapore underscored that the bridge would position Singapore as an important intermediary for trade between Indonesia and the rest of Asia.[3]

Though a Singapore Strait bridge could eventually play a pivotal link in a hypothetical Trans Global Highway, a Singapore Strait crossing would not yet give full access to Indonesia's road or rail system due to the lack of fixed links between Batam and mainland Indonesia. This latter corridor was identified for development in a 2011 government study,[4] however the 250 km (160 mi) distance across a series of islands, shallow channels, and sparsely populated forest poses enormous engineering and environmental challenges.

The Singapore Strait crossing has not progressed past the proposal stage. The Malacca Strait Bridge was at the planning stage 2012 and appeared a more likely candidate for connecting Indonesia to mainland Asia. If built, this route would bypass Singapore.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Peachey, Karen; Perry, Martin; Grundy-Warr, Carl (1998). The Riau Islands and Economic Cooperation in the Singapore-Indonesian Border Zone. International Boundaries Research Unit, University of Durham. ISBN 9781897643273. [page needed]
  2. ^ "Govt urged to consider Batam-Singapore bridge". The Jakarta Post. 5 January 2010. Retrieved 26 November 2012. 
  3. ^ "RSIS Riau Roundtable 2010 on 'The Bridge between the Riau Archipelago and Singapore: The Implementation of FTZs and Investment Opportunities'" (PDF). Traders Hotel-Singapore. 16 March 2010. Retrieved 26 November 2012. 
  4. ^ "Masterplan: Acceleration and Expansion of Indonesia Economic Development 2011-2025" (PDF). Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs, Republic of Indonesia, year= 2011. Retrieved 26 November 2012.