South Sumatra`s capital, Palembang, has long maintained a river-oriented transportation system. With road transportation`s increased importance for exploiting natural resources, however, hundreds of roads have been constructed since the Dutch colonial period. This article examines how the construction of roads and bridges affected people`s lives and social networks in Palembang, and what social and political significance it has in the context of a region in the postcolonial Indonesia, with a focus on the huge river called the Musi River, which horizontally crosses the city. After independence, there has been strong aspiration to link these two parts by road, and in 1965 the Musi Bridge (then the Sukarno Bridge) over the river was eventually opened. The construction of the bridge apparently initiated socioeconomic transformations and development in the region, including Ulu (the southern river bank)`s rapid urbanization. However, the features of regional development actually were prerequisites for "national" development. The regional development was impossible without financial support from the central government, and the local or regional aspiration for development was often supported only when it fitted with national envision. The Musi Bridge was a model case that fitted with such national envision. While it was the symbol of regional development, it was also celebrated as an exemplary sign of "national" development, by both Sukarno`s government and Suharto`s New Order regime. By analyzing the discussions and discourses regarding the Musi project since early 1950s, in addition to its social and economic impact after the construction, this article explores the continuities and changes in the roles and significance of the (construction of the) Musi Bridge with the changing political backstops in both regimes. Together with it, this article also aims to reexamine the interplay between "the national" and "the regional" in the prevalent aspiration for the national and regional "development" throughout the 1950s and 1960s.