Manmunai Bridge construction begins with Japanese help
Artist's impression of the new Manmunai Bridge
The construction of Manmunai Bridge in Batticaloa will be inaugurated
by Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa and Japanese ambassador
to Sri Lanka Nobuhito Hobo today.
Deputy Highways Minister Nirmala Kotelawala, Japan International
Cooperation Agency (JICA) chief representative Harumi Ao and dignitaries
from the Eastern Province including the Chief Minister will also
The bridge will be constructed under a 1,206 million Japanese yen
grant assistance from JICA.
It will connect the East side of the lagoon where the Batticaloa
township is located, with the agricultural area in the West side.
Access between the West and East sides are by a small ferry which can
accommodate only two passenger cars.
The area is affected by floods two to three times a year, during
which the ferry cannot operate, and people have to detour about 30kms to
access the other side.
The new 210m bridge will connect the improved provincial roads on
either side of the lagoon, and enable access to markets and services in
the East side especially for the farming community in the West side.
It will also open an alternative road link to and from Batticaloa
town to other areas.
Ferries plying along the lagoon at Manmunai
The project is implemented by the Road Development Authority of the
Ports and Highways Ministry in cooperation with JICA.
“We are very happy to have commenced Manmunai Bridge construction in
the year that Sri Lanka and Japan are celebrating 60 years of diplomatic
relations. We hope this assistance will contribute to reducing regional
disparities, and promote reconciliation among the Sri Lankan people,” Ao
JICA's recent assistance to Eastern Province include the
reconstruction of rural and national roads including the new Kallady
Bridge, development of water supply systems and rectification of flood
damaged roads and irrigation infrastructure through official development
assistance loans, and reconstruction of five bridges on A5 and A15
through grant assistance. The Manampitiya Bridge across Mahaweli River
and the Mannar Bridge connecting the mainland to Mannar Island were also
JICA grant projects.