Friendship Bridge

August 7, 2006 (LBO) – The United States government Monday kicked off a project to build a 10.6 million dollar high-tech bridge at Arugam Bay, to replace the original one that was damaged during the tsunami. Dispensed through the U.S. Agency for International Development or USAID, the bridge is the single largest infrastructure project in the American government’s tsunami reconstruction programme for Sri Lanka, the Embassy said.

Designed to last 100 years, the two spans totaling 185 meters will connect the communities of Pottuvil, Arugam Bay and Panama to enhance economic expansion of the fishing, agriculture and tourist industries.

Construction of 900 meters of asphalt paved access roads, and improvements to water supply systems will complement the improved access the new bridge will foster tourism for scenic Arugam Bay, the statement said.

“Beautiful Arugam Bay has tremendous potential to be a highlight of Sri Lanka for tourists, and we hope a strong permanent bridge across the bay and infrastructure improvements in the surrounding areas will bring together ethnically diverse communities in the east,” USAID Director Carol Becker said. Around 31,000 people died and nearly a million were disp