The Western Sulawesi Highway will be fully functional in 2009 with construction already underway and 80% of land already acquired, said the Public Works Ministry directorate general Hermanto Dardak.
The four-lane, 1,000-km highway starts in Makassar, South Sulawesi, and continues north to Maros, Takalar, and Pare-Pare. The highway then travels north to Polewali and Mamuju, West Sulawesi, continuing east to Donggala and Toli-Toli, Central Sulawesi, before winding up in Gorontalo province and ending in Bitung, on the northern tip of North Sulawesi.
"The highway will increase shipping which should also increase economic growth two-and-a-half fold," said Hermanto in a report from Antara.
Sulawesi will be the third major area in the country to build a trans-island highway after the Java Northern Coastal Highway, known by its local acronym Pantura, and the Sumatra Eastern Highway.