Probably the most famous bridge in the City of Jambi is the Makalam Bridge (“Jembatan Makalam”). The bridge is located very close to the center of town and is a very prominent landmark. The exact location of the bridge can be found with this link. The satellite photograph was taken before the bridge was built.
Construction on the bridge began on October 16, 2002, and was completed on March 15, 2004. The name of the bridge came from the city of Jambi’s first mayor, Mr. Makalam (like many Indonesians, he had a single name).
Almost all of the internet references about this bridge indicate that the name of the bridge came from Jambi Province’s first governor. But, because we couldn’t find a “Makalam” on the list of Jambi Province’s governors, we went to the Museum Perjuangan Rakyat Jambi to get clarification. At the museum we were informed that it was the first mayor that the bridge was named after, and not the first governor.
This is a video we made of the Makalam Bridge.
Though the bridge was designed for the conveying of traffic, it is also used as a location for young people to hang out. On any night of the week, and especially weekends, the bridge will have many young people on it socializing with their friends. Bridges are known to be a “hang-out” location in other areas of Indonesia as well. Bridges may be an ideal location for young people, but it makes it very hazardous for them, as well as disrupting to the flow of traffic. Two lanes of the bridge are frequently blocked off by motorcycles and cars that are parked along it, as well as young people meeting with friends. But, for Indonesians… if maintaining community relationships restricts the flow of traffic, then that is what will happen.
Keris Siginjai & Pinang Tree
An interesting side note about this bridge is that the side posts are lined with carvings of the “Keris Siginjai,” a famous knife that contained spiritual powers. The side posts also have images of the pinang tree. Read this post of ours for more info about why the pinang tree is used in Jambi emblems.