Road network to be strengthened
*Easier access to BIA
*Less traffic congestion
President Mahinda Rajapaksa inspects a model of the Outer
Sri Lanka would add the second highway to its road network by June
2013 and the outer circular highway would be linked to it, enabling a
passenger from Galle to reach the Bandaranaike International Airport
(BIA) in Katunayake in just one hour and 50 minutes.
It would be a major investment attraction to the South as exporters
would get the opportunity to transport their products quicker to the
airport, bringing them additional savings. It would also reopen the
South for more foreign direct investments.
In addition, the opening of the Colombo-Katunayake highway would
bring in more tourists to the South and most importantly, help tourists
to stay longer in the hotels, bringing more revenue to the hotels as
well as to the community.
Bringing the BIA closer to Colombo, creating a high mobility link
between the city of Colombo and the BIA and most importantly the
Colombo-Katunayake Expressway would promote the outward migration of
public from Colombo.
An artistís impression of the Kadawatha interchange
Residents near Katunayake and near the exit points on the highway are
already reaping the benefits as they have got better prices for land.
Rentals have also increased for apartments, houses and shops, projecting
the economic benefits of the highway. Many employment opportunities too
have been created.
Improving the mobility needs of the industrial development areas in
the vicinity and the associated container traffic is another key benefit
from the project.
Decongesting the existing Peliyagoda and Puttalam Road (A3) and
allowing it to be used as an alternative road with lesser traffic is
The expressway network, which will lead to a high-standard limited
access road network centring the capital and around the country, will
assist the development of economically weak regions by encouraging
growth in manufacturing, tourism, fisheries and agriculture.
Ministry of Ports and Highways officials said the construction of the
highway will be on a loan facility extended to the Government by the
People's Republic of China.
The project commenced on August 2009 and is expected to be completed
by mid-2013. The construction cost of the project is estimated at US$
292 million. Of the project cost, US$ 248.2 will be a loan facility from
the People's Republic of China while the balance is to be met out of
"Even though Sri Lanka has an extensive road network, most roads were
built about 50 years ago and do not possess the capacity to cope with
the increasing traffic volumes. Therefore, there is an urgent need to
improve the capacity and efficiency of the road network to meet the
growing transport requirements of the country and avoid the road network
becoming an impediment to development," officials said.
The Colombo-Katunayake Expressway, which runs from the New Kelani
Bridge and ends at the access road to the Bandaranaike International
Airport at Katunayake (Canada Friendship Road) is 25.8 Km in length.
The Expressway consists of six and four lane sections of 33.5m and 26
m width respectively. It has been designed for speeds of 80Km/h and 100
Travel time reduced
The travel time from Colombo to Katunayake is expected to be reduced
to 20 minutes with the inauguration of the Expressway.
There will be four interchanges on the Expressway at the following
locations: New Kelani Bridge Interchange, Peliyagoda Interchange
(enabling the Colombo-Kandy traffic to enter the highway), Ja-Ela
Interchange and at the end point at Katunayake. There will be about 40
bridges and 88 box culverts on the Expressway. Work on about 27 bridges
is already in progress while about 50 box culverts have been completed.
The 480 m long viaduct, which is being constructed near the Ceylon
Fertilizer Company premises, Hunupitiya will be a monumental
construction on the Expressway. A similar structure is to be constructed
from the Katunayake junction towards the airport.
There will be two link roads at the Peliyagoda and Ja-ela
Interchanges providing linkage from the Peliyagoda-Puttalam (A3) road to
the Colombo-Kandy (A1) and Tudella-Pamunugama roads respectively.
|Construction work on the
lagoon bridge in progress
|Construction work on the
IC bridge at Peliyagoda interchange in progress
Sea sand is used for the filling of the road embankment while soft
ground treatment techniques are adopted where the ground conditions are
At present, the project has completed 62 percent of the embankment
filling, 95 percent of soft ground treatment work, 56 percent of the
culverts and 50 percent of bridges. The overall physical progress is 45
Those entering the Katunayake highway from the Katunayake turnoff
roundabout would go through an overpass and travel along the lagoon.
They would cross the Negombo-Colombo road near Kerawalapitiya where
there is a major interchange where it would connect with the Outer
The project initially commenced in 2003, but was halted due to lack
of funds. It was then funded with local capital; now Chinese credit has
The Colombo Outer Circular Expressway would be a 29 km (18 mile) long
outer circular road network that will link the Colombo-Matara Expressway
with the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway.
It will provide an orbital beltway to bypass the city of Colombo and
reduce traffic congestion. The project is funded by the Japan
International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The highway was planned to have six tracks from Colombo to Peliyagoda
and four lanes, from Peliyagoda to Katunayake.
The speed range will be 80 kilometres per hour from Colombo to
Peliyagoda and 100 kilometres from Peliyagoda to Katunayake, once
The first stage of the Colombo Outer Circular Road from Kottawa to
Kaduwela is now in progress. The second stage, from Kaduwela to
Kadawatha, is scheduled to be launched soon under the patronage of
President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
This will connect the Southern Expressway, the Colombo-Katunayake
Expressway and the Colombo-Kandy Expressway. While using the
Expressways, the public can also use this road network to enter the main
roads. The new Highway Secretariat at Denzil Kobbekaduwa Mawatha,
Battaramulla is to be constructed with eight levels including parking
The project is funded by the Asian Development Bank. Construction
work is in progress and has now reached level 4. This is to meet the
future demands for highways.
The Outer Circular Highway starts from the Katunayake Expressway at
Kerawalapitiya and ends at Kottawa, which is the starting point of the
The Outer Circular Highway will be instrumental in easing the traffic
congestion in the city of Colombo.