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Monday, 12 September 2011

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Colombo-Kandy expressway construction begins next year

The Ports and Highways Ministry has made arrangements to commence the construction of the Colombo-Kandy expressway early next year, Ports and Highways Deputy Minister Nirmala Kothalawala said.

The deputy minister said the entire Colombo-Kandy expressway project (98.9km) is being implemented in two phases with a total investment of Rs.160 billion. The first phase from Kadawata, north to Ambepussa while the second phase would extend the road to Katugastota, near Kandy.

This is an alternate expressway between Colombo and Kandy. This is connected to the outer circular highway at Kadawatha and runs up to Katugastota.

“The process to acquire land for the first phase is being carried out by the authorities. Once the land acquisition process is over, upgrading work on the 48.2 road from Kadawatha to Ambepussa will commence under the first phase,” the deputy minister said.

“Travel time between Colombo and Kandy now takes about three hours and there is congestion on the existing road. Once the expressway is constructed, the travel time between Colombo and Kandy will be reduced to around 45-50 minutes with vehicle speeds of 100-110 kilometres an hour. It will be a four-lane highway with provision to expand to six lanes,” he said.

The number of interchanges will be increased to 11. It will consist of 31 main bridges and 61 minor bridges and 10 tunnels.

The planned expressway will be an elevated highway, built on viaducts or concrete pillars to reduce land acquisition and avoid difficulties caused by the danger of floods, Kothalawela said.

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