Jan 16, 2007 (LBO) – Japan on Tuesday gave Sri Lanka 30 million rupees to design a new bridge connecting Mannar to the mainland, the finance ministry said. The grant will be used to draw up a detailed design of a 157.1 metre, ten-metre wide bridge and to improve and expand the causeway between the points.
About 3.14 kilometers of the causeway is to be improved and expanded to 11 meters in width on the Medawachchiya Mannar- Thalaimannar (A 14) road in the northwestern coastal belt of Sri Lanka, the ministry said.
The existing bridge and causeway, which is the only access road connecting Mannar Island and the mainland, was constructed in the 1930’s, with a narrow, single lane.
The bridge was damaged in a bomb blast in 1990 and was replaced with a temporary, narrow bailey bridge and is restricted for heavy vehicles of over ten tones.
The movements along the causeway are frequently interrupted during the monsoons due to high tidal waves affecting smooth transportation as well as traffic safety.
Some 40,000 people living on Mannar Island are expected to directly benefit from the new bridge, the ministry said, improving market acces