Barelang Bridges is a very familiar name which attached to Batam Island. Barelang names were taken from 3 major islands which are connected by total of 6 bridge chains, named Batam – Rempang – Galang. Not only for Batam residents, Barelang Bridges also widely known as a tourism landmark among local and foreign tourists. It is located about 20 kilometers from downtown Batam, Riau Islands, Indonesia.
History of Barelang Bridges
Barelang bridges connect three major islands and many smaller islands in Batam archipelago to turn the wheels of the economy.
This brilliant idea comes from BJ Habibie who was the chairman of the Batam Authority and minister of research and technology of Indonesia at that time, and he was also 3rd president of Indonesia. BJ Habibie then known as the “Father of Batam Development”.
He prepared Batam infrastructure as he was predicted and aims Batam to grow into a crowded city by industrial activities like its neighborhood country, Singapore.
To be précised, his vision was to transform Rempang and Galang islands into industrial sites aside of main island of Batam for evenly distributing development. Along with the bridges, Batam Authority also builds the road to the end of Galang Baru Island which is known as Trans Barelang road.
Why is the Barelang Bridges important to the people of Batam
The presence Barelang Bridges has facilitated access of the islanders to go to main island of Batam and turning the wheels of their economy and vice versa. Most of farming and plantations are located outside Batam Island based on law of Batam Authority. Marine products such as fish also transported from the outside of Batam Island.
Nowadays, these bridges have grown more into tourist attractions and become the icon of Batam. Barelang Bridges and Trans Barelang road provide easy access to reach tourist destinations at Rempang and Galang Island.
Most of the beachs are located outside the main island of Batam, like Melayu Beach, Kalat Beach, Mirota Beach and Vio-vio Beach. Snorkeling and diving spots are also located at the end of the road of Trans Barelang, like Abang Island and Petong Island.
Interesting facts about Barelang Bridges
- Barelang bridges chain was built with large amount of funds; more than 400 Billion Rupiahs were spent at that time.
- Construction of the bridges started in 1992 and finished in 1998.
- The full stretch of all 6 bridges total to 2.264 meter. Travelling from the first bridge to the last is about 54 km and takes about 50 minutes.
- Bridges names were taken from fifteenth to eighteenth-century rulers of the Riau Sultanate.
- 1st bridge: Tengku Fisabilillah Bridge, widely known as Barelang Bridge. This bridge connects Batam Island and Tonton Island and is the longest bridge compare to other bridges with 642 meters in length. This is the iconic bridge of Batam with its cable-stayed bridge construction with two 118 m high pylons and main span of 350 m.
- 2nd bridge: Narasinga Bridge. Connect Tonton Island and Nipah Island with straight and balance cantilever construction and 160 meters in length.
- 3rd bridge: Ali Haji Bridge. Connect Island Nipah and Setokok Island with segmental construction and 45 meters in length.
- 4th bridge: Sultan Zainal Abidin Bridge. Connect Setokok Island and Rempang Island with balance cantilever construction and 145 meters in length.
- 5th bridge: Tuanku Tambusai Bridge. Connect Rempang Island and Galang Island. It is an arch bridge with total length of 385 m and main span 245 m. The road deck was constructed using the incremental launching method, whereby the deck was constructed on the bridge approach and then launched horizontally by the use of hydraulic jacks with special sliding bearings out over the previously constructed arch.
- 6th bridge: Raja Kecil Bridge. Connect Galang Island and Galang Baru Island with 45 meters in length.