10 January 2009

Damaged Roads

It is being reported that the Public Works Agency of Jakarta is planning to repair some 211,000 sqm of roads in the capital in the first six months of this year. This gets me wondering about just how many sqm of roads are damaged and in need of repair. This is because records state that the Public Works Agency reported repairing more than 400,000 sqm of roads during the past 12 months.

It seems that the priority is going to be the main thoroughfares first. This is probably a good idea. However, it is of limited value to someone like me who lives in the suburbs.

But, I guess if the Public Works Agency manages to fill in some of the potholes and prevent accidents then this has got to count for something. Nevertheless, it is a case of doing it right the first time in order not to have to repeat the same shenanigans over and over again after each rainy season. It is a simple philosophy really!

I have also been wondering of late, how many accidents are attributable to roads that are in a state of disrepair and whether this constitutes negligence on the part of the government of Jakarta? And, if it does can citizens sue the government for this negligence?

Life in Jakarta.


tikno said...

I also saw the accident in my city. I saw two accident of motorcycles directly at the same time when I bought something. Many roads are damaged because of flood. The city authority should install warning signs near potholes to avoid accidents for the road not yet being repaired.

Rob Baiton said...


Accidents can happen at any time, but it would be interesting to see the statistics for accidents that can be directly attributed to the poor state of repair of the roads.

pj said...

I think Tikno is on to something with his observation about flooding.

It would help to fix the flooding problem before fixing the road problem. Roads probably don't like being underwater for any length of time. My guess is the flooding undercuts the foundations and the surface collapses to get the pothole. On some of the bigger roads(highways) it may help to enforce weight restrictions on roads, especially during rainy season. This would require some effort on the part of police.

I'm willing to bet that most vehicle accidents are due to driver error. We have to do yearly driving evaluations and refreshers for work and this is the message the instructors keep hammering into us. Only a very small percentage of accidents are caused by external factors. I suppose if a huge pothole just opened up right in front of your new mercedes you might have a case. I'm not sure who is to blame when you drive your car into the pothole, and that pothole is a whole lot deeper than you imagined.

Rob Baiton said...


Insightful comments as always :D

Yep, the government needs to get a handle on the flooding issues. Nevertheless, the repairing of roads is not something that can wait until the government gets its act together on the flooding front.

I am fully aware that most accidents are human error and rarely external factors.

Yet, I was wondering allowed, I guess, in the post as to whether the government has a duty of care to ensure that public roads are in a good state of repair.

schmerly said...

Have you ever seen these people build roads? They have no idea how to put down a proper foundation to support the road.

Company’s make special membranes and compounds that will support roads that cross bogs! but of course that costs money, and with the corruption that goes on in all construction contracts in Indonesia you’ll only get roads built on compressed earth, with a bit of tarmac on top, so every time it rains, or floods, the road collapses, I used to travel up and down the JKT Merak toll road two months after it opened, and the road had already started to fall apart!! huge holes would appear every time it rained.

Great stuff, cant see much changing in the next few years, however I think by the time Will retires the flooding problem may have been sorted!!

Rob Baiton said...


I have been watching some contractors build a couple of bridges over the big hole in the ground that will eventually become the East Flood Canal.

I have gotta say that it looks professional. It was interesting to see real form work put in place and not a couple of bamboo poles laced together.

Maybe things are getting better.

Will's parents are expecting to work him hard so that both they and he can retire early ;)

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