Sri Lanka is continuing construction work of a 200 km expressway network and road development activities countrywide at a cost of Rs.225 billion in a bid to ease traffic congestion and improve road safety.
Of this, the construction work of 105 km of expressways will be completed this year, Chairman of Road Development Authority Eng. Nihal Sooriyarachchi said at a recent forum in Colombo.
Work on the third and fourth phases of the 96km Southern Expressway from Matara to Hambantota via Mattala has been completed and that expressway extension will be opened soon, he said.
Construction work on the Outer circular expressway is also due to be completed this year and a 9.63km long stretch from Kadawatha – Kerawalapitiya will be opened shortly.
The Outer Circular Highway will connect the Katunayake Expressway with the Southern and Central Expressways, he disclosed.
The construction of the section from Meerigama to Kurunegala and the section from Kadawatha to Meerigama will be completed shortly with 50 per cent of the construction work of the section from Kadawatha to Kerawalapitiya to be completed by the end of this year.
Phase 2 of the Central Expressway from Meerigama-Kurunegala is nearing completion with the involvement of 15 local companies at a cost of Rs. 140 billion.
Phase 1 of the Central Expressway construction from Kadawatha to Mirigama has been delayed due to complications in obtaining a loan facility of US$ 989 million from the Exim Bank of China, Mr. Sooriyarachchi said.
The third phase of the Central Expressway from Pothuhera to Galagedara is yet to be started with Mitsubishi Bank of Japan funding due to some detrimental conditions in the contract agreement, he added.
Some of the projects in the pipeline are the elevated highway linking the Kelaniya new bridge with Colombo Port City at Ingurukade junction and another elevated highway connecting Orugodawatte with Rajagiriya.
The construction work of the Port Access Elevated Highway linking the Kelaniya new bridge with Colombo Port City will begin next week with Asian Development Bank (ADB) funding of $300 million .
In addition, a dry port will be built at Kerawalapitiya to ease the present container traffic congestion at Orugodawatte.