Colombo- Katunayake Expressway: 80 percent work complete
80 percent of the construction work of the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway
has been complete. It will be vested with the people in August.
Ports and Highways Deputy Minister Nirmala Kothalawela told the Daily
News that the rest of the work was progressing expeditiously.
"This would create a high mobility link between Colombo and the
Bandaranaike International Airport enabling motorists to travel to the
airport in 20 minutes," Kothalawela said.
The length of the expressway would be around 25.8 kilometres starting
from the New Kelani Bridge and ending at the Airport Access Road at
Katunayake. The total estimated cost of the project is US $ 294 million
funded by Exim Bank of China due to intervention and negotiations
President Mahinda Rajapaksa had with the bank. The Sri Lankan government
has spent US $ 50 million for the project.
The deputy minister said that the development of the country's road
network is instrumental in accelerating development programmes.
"The commencement of the construction of this long awaited project
will provide a number of benefits to the people. Among them are
promoting outward migration of public from the Colombo area, improving
user benefits to the rapidly expanding transport traffic and improving
mobility needs of the industrial development areas in the vicinity and
the associated container traffic," he said.
The Expressway, with four lane carriageways, will include four
interchanges at the new Kelani Bridge, Peliyagoda, Ja-Ela and Katunayake.
He said the contract was awarded to China Metallurgical Group
Corporation (MCC)by the government and the agreement was signed on
17.08.2008. The project loan agreements were signed on 06.08.2009 and
the project commenced on 18.08.2009.
The Expressway will have 42 bridges and 88 culverts to ensure the
smooth flow of traffic. The site clearing , construction of service
roads and laying of bottom sand mat have been completed. In addition to
this, concrete square pile driving for bridge approaches, driving of
pre-fabricated vertical drains, construction of sand compaction piles
and crushed stone piles as soft ground treatment works have also been
Construction of all bridges including a 480 metre long viaduct at
Hunupitiya and a 800 metre viaduct at Katunayake are in progress. Bridge
construction progress is about 85 percent while 97 percent progress has
been made in box culvert construction.
About 96 percent of the embankment slopes, drainage works along the
road trace and over laying of road pavement are in progress.
"Land acquisition and resettlement due to the project were also
closely monitored and Rs. 2.5 billion paid in compensation for the
acquired land to 700 families. This is the only highway being built
using sea sand which is used to strengthen weak soil," he said.
The entire project has received Central Environmental Authority
approval. It is being constructed giving priority for environmental
concerns and paying great emphasis to landscaping. The canals in the
area are also being widened.
He said that the length of the expressway would be around 25.8
Kilometres, starting from the New Kelani Bridge and ending at the
Airport Access Road at Katunayake.