Hill Track

Jan 08, 2012 (LBO) – An expressway from Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo to the central hill city of Kandy has been changed to touch Kurunegala, another key city, Road Development Authority chairman R W Pemasiri said. A World Bank study has found that congestion in Colombo, and on the Colombo-Kandy road was a key reason for high transport costs in the island, as road elsewhere in the island improved.

The trace of the 98 kilometre planned expressway was earlier going over Ambepussa. The new road may be slightly longer as a result of the change, Pemasiri said.

Ten companies from China, Korea, India and Malaysia have given proposals with financing to build the road.

“We are studying these proposals,” he said. “We are hoping to start building the expressway this year.”

The RDA opened an expressway to Galle in the South last year, which is operating as a toll road slashing travel time by about a third.

At the moment, the road from Colombo to Kandy is considered a key bottleneck, slowing traffic to Kandy, north central Sri Lanka and the east.