Central Expressway Project on track | Sunday Observer

Central Expressway Project on track

Despite stiff opposition from residents, claiming higher compensation for land acquisition, and delays in tender processes, officials at the Road Development Authority told the Sunday Observer that quarrying and civil engineering works on the second phase of the proposed Central Expressway will begin on January 16.

V. Mohan, Project Director of Section 2 of the Central Expressway said, contracts were awarded on November 17 for civil engineering and consultancy work. “The contracts were awarded to a consortium of companies, hence, there are four consortia for four sections of Section 2 of the project” he said.

He said, agreements were inked on December 15, and a grace period of one month would be offered to the companies to draft the necessary paperwork.

“The companies are required to prepare contract agreements, which are time consuming. However, they are in the process of mobilizing machinery to the site, working out the quarry assessment and other civil engineering activities.”

All contracts for the second section of the highway have been awarded to local contractors. The Second section, a stretch of 39.29km was divided into four sections. The first section titled, package ‘A’ , a stretch of 9.71 km, was awarded to ICC as the lead partner, with companies such as Access, Nawaloka and KDH, forming a joint venture.

Package ‘B’, 10.2 km was awarded to Sierra, Olympus and Tudawe. Package ‘C’ was awarded to a consortium comprising, KD Weerasinghe and ENC, while package ‘D’ 8.5 km, was awarded to Maga, CML and Howell.

The first phase of the highway hit a road bump when residents protested, demanding higher compensation. The authorities were forced to postpone the construction of the Mirigama section of the highway when residents from Ganegoda, Pallewela and Ambalanwatta forced contractors to halt all work.

Chairman, Road Development Authority (RDA) Nihal Sooriyarachchi, however, vowed they would re-commence construction work the following day. The RDA had allocated a sum of Rs 1.7 million, to be paid as compensation for land acquisition.

Meanwhile, L.V.S Weerakoon, Project Director of the Third Section of the Highway, from Pothuhera to Galagedara said, they have received bids for four contractors and three consultants, so far.

“We hope to finalize the tender process by mid January,” he said. “At present most of the employees are on leave, hence, the delay.” 

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