The Road Development Authority (RDA) of Sri Lanka and the Export-Import Bank of Korea (Korea Eximbank) will collaborate to explore durable solutions to ease the traffic woes that have plagued Kandy for the past decade.
For all the tranquility that the Kandy city offers its residents and tourists alike, its central business district has been afflicted with worsening vehicular congestion. The combined impact of narrow access routes, hilly terrain and being located in an environmentally and historically sensitive area severely restricts a smooth traffic flow in and out, as well as within the Kandy city. Moreover, the 45 or more schools located within Kandy’s central business district draws in about 1,000 private vans and a further mix of 10,000 private cars, tuk-tuks and motorcycles carrying students in addition to east and west-bound traffic, severely congesting the roads during peak hours, making commuters expect at least double the travel time.
To find longer lasting and sustainable solutions that deliver immediate gains to these problems, the Korea Eximbank will take up a feasibility study to understand the technical viability of constructing a tunnel to enhance the city’s traffic efficiency. The proposed tunnel will provide a bypass route for the traffic volume not bound for the city, thereby relieving its congestion.
This feasibility study will be taken up by a team of Korean technical specialists and will be supported by a grant from the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF), managed by the Korea Eximbank. If constructed, this tunnel will be the longest in Sri Lanka and, the country is expected to gain significant transfer of advanced technology in tunnel construction from Korea.
This feasibility study will identify opportunities to improve road accessibility to and from the Kandy city and would allow for sharing Korea’s experience in tackling traffic congestion and road connectivity, especially in cities of historical significance and those challenged by geographical and environmental peculiarities.