Banda Aceh – Today the U.S. Ambassador Scot Marciel and Aceh Governor Irwandi Yusuf opened the Banda Aceh-Calang west coast transportation corridor, cutting a red ribbon at the Lambeso River Bridge to commemorate the event.
The 150-km roadway, which cost $430 million and was built through U.S. and Indonesian cooperation, connects 74 villages to Banda Aceh and makes travel faster, safer, and more affordable for people and businesses in Sumatra, according to the embassy’s release.
The original roadway was destroyed during the devastating earthquake and tsunami of December 2004, which resulted in the loss of 175,000 lives, left homeless half a million people, and destroyed businesses.
As a major building block to redevelop the North Sumatran economy and improve quality of life, the United States through USAID partnered with the Government of Indonesia to rebuild and expand the west coast transportation corridor.
By connecting more than 70 villages with Aceh, the new road will facilitate government and business travel and stimulate economic activity.
“The completion of this project has served as a catalyst for reinvestment and regional development,” explained Ambassador Marciel.
“Our partnership with the Government of Indonesia and the province of Aceh offers people here a fresh start toward a peaceful and prosperous future.”
Now, farmers bringing produce from Calang, for example, have quicker access to larger Acehnese markets.
Lhoukseudu fishermen, who lost over 100 boats due to the tsunami, have a new route to revive lost trade along the coastline.
The United States, in partnership with the Government of Indonesia and people of Aceh, will continue to support social and economic development in the region, including projects to improve maternal and child health, develop alternative energy resources, provide financing for entrepreneurs, and broaden opportunities for quality education.