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Sri Lanka central hill expressway trace changed
08 Jan, 2012 08:16:21
By Jayantha Kovilagodage
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.
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.

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.

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22. Jimmy May 21
How can we take the map for new plan of pothuhara to Kandy high way..

It is immediately we need to check whether our lands are gone or not

21. Amaw Scritz Mar 17
I think this is a good change to the current plan. I am pretty sure most of the people who criticize the change of plans do not have a clue about the existing plan. Please refer Why do I say the change of plan seems to be good. In the old plan all expressways seemed to start from colombo. The planned Jaffna expressway could now be changed to start from Kurunegala.
20. cyborg5742 Mar 15
Guys, anyone of you know or have link to the company names which submitted the proposals??? please
19. Doolwa Jan 15
This reminded me famous british commedy yes minister. Minister after observing that the road from London to Oxford was far superior to that from London to Cambridge asked his secretary (a civil servant) why that was so. The secretary replied that no canterbrian has ever been the secretary of the ministry of transport but it has always been an Oxford graduate. I may be a bit cynical here, but I think there is a need to properly integrate individual highways in Sri Lanka to a long-term plan of a practical and economical road network rather than trying to hit two birds with a single stone.
18. Restrained Jan 10
Very true, Rajive. Countries that have good MRTs also have good expressways and good roads. You cannot have one at the expense of the other.

One question that need to be asked is of the many people in this forum advocating train journeys for other citizens, how many in fact did travel on trains in the last year? How many who already own cars and are ever ready to deny others that 'luxury'?

I am sure many people who advocate trains have not travelled in trains, even to places where places trains now run. The plain fact is people go by buses. In fact buses have displaced trains in many countries over the last century, except for MRTs. Even if trains go, good roads are essential for the last mile or several miles come to that to get to individual houses.

One cannot build rail at the expense of roads. To complement roads yes. Even if we build rail, the pricing policy means that they will make losses and run at tax-payer expense (someone else will pay for it) because there is pricing politics. The buses are however imperfectly running because private bus owners strike to get price hikes when cost rise. I remember travelling precariously in footboards - everyday - in the early 1990s in dilapidated buses, with broken rear suspension due to overloading because there was no price formula.

17. Rajive de Silva Jan 10
I am of the opinion that Sri Lanka should be linked from North to South and East to West by expressways. Proposed Colombo to Kandy expressway could be part of the North South link. Remember we already have the Colombo Galle link which will be extended to Matara and perhaps to Hambantota. From Kandy, the road can be extended to Jaffna via Dambulla and Anuradhapura at a latter stage.

These road networks are expensive to construct. But once constructed and if they are properly built will last for a very long time and contribute immensely to the long term growth of the country.

16. Kamalsiri Jan 10
Regular travellers know that even now the quickest road from Kandy to Colombois through Kurunegala (Giriulla - Minuwangoda - Jaela) during peak traffic. The distance is approximately 20 km more. I assume if the proposed highway is going through Ambepussa and cut across to somewhere between Mallawapitiya and Mawathagama, parallel to rail track the difference in distance will be much lower.

Very logical thinking, I don't think it's politically motivated.

15. Sirisara Jan 09
These things are not decided by any kind of logic. Obviously a Kurunegala area politician introduced the latest twist to the planed highway. In a year or two you might even find it ending in Anuradapura...
14. herath Jan 09
Agree with jagath and nation lover. Building new roads, especially in Sri Lanka which has one of the highest road densities in the region, and that too in the wet zone - which has huge pressure on land availability, is a mistake in the long run. there will be tremendous costs from this approach - both in terms of money and hardship to the people who will be displaced and affected by the construction work. The even greater reliance on fossil fuel this generates is irresponsible from a budgetary perspective as well as a global environmental perspective. There are political reasons why the railway - which is already there and can be easily upgraded at a fraction of the cost - is not the focus of our transport policy, but we will live to regret these choices.
13. Traveler Jan 09
Good proposal, better to have a branch out to Kurunegala from the main Colombo Kandy Expressway instead of routing the entire traffic through kurunegala. moreover the road giving access to kurunegala will triple the traffic as vehicles travelling to and from kandy,kurunegala and northern part of the country will enter the highway. so it will be a major requirement to have at least 4 tracks from Colombo at Kurunegala exit point. otherwise this road will be another traffic jammed road in no time. hope the authorities will do the best.
12. nation lover Jan 09
Dont you think, well developed and managed railway network would serve the purpose? Also it will save lot of money, minimize the polution,minimal cost per individual, use for both people and goods transportation, no traffic jams..etc, still we use old railway lines and some railway lines have been removed and people used those lands to built their houses(from Avissawella to Opanayaka), why mega projects eying on highways other than Railways though it clearly cost effective and profitable to the country as a nation? I think first priority should be railways then highways...
11. Jagath Jan 09
More trains. Not cars. We ahve enough cars and pollution. We need to be like Europe. More trains and less cars.

we are going in the wrong direction.

10. MUDITHA Jan 09
Good idea.It costs less.Also eases the cost of building colombo jaffna highway.whose is this master brain?
9. ere121 Jan 09
The expressway begins in Colombo and ends in Kandy. Therefore it is the Colombo-Kandy Expressway. It's actually a very good idea to pass it by a major town because that 3rd town will be served by an expressway connection. Now there will be an expressway connection from Kurunegala to Colombo and Kandy. And the expressway will still be much quicker (about an hour) than taking the Colombo-Kandy road.
8. Upali Jan 09
The first thing we need is a highway upto Warakapola from Colombo to take the heavy traffic out of current Colombo Kandy road. This will cut down the travel time easily by 1 hour for everybody from North and Central province. The next is to get this expressway passthrough a mid point in Kandy Kurunegala road, more closer to Kandy witha branch to Kurunegala. Road Authority - Please plan things first to take out traffic congestions out of Colombo and then to link to important cities. Do we think that we are using the Galle Expressway to the maximum now. We do not have enough traffic. Please address issue of getting traffic out of Colombo and cut down current one and a half hours to Nittambuwa to half an hour.
7. A.H.M.Hussain Jan 09
As well as today in the main cities situated in the main roads traffic blocks always. on the 6th Friday from Negombo to Colombo it took me 2.30 hour's for 30 km.My time wasted and also fuel of thousand's of vehicle's wasted. counting to the hole country billion's of Rupees wasted.
6. asia power Jan 08
Good move...
5. B.Fernando Jan 08
Please check corruption, you can do a better job at a cheaper cost. This is not easy as corruption starts from the very top, but if you do not stop, the Country will be bankrupt with the mega projects and hunger can create chaos.
4. Chin Jan 08
I think it should not touch Kurunegala but go from Colombo to Pothuhera - Mallawapitiya and to Kandy . In between Pothuhera and Mallawapitiya there should be a link to Kurunegala just like they built a link road to Galle in CMB - Matara Highway.
3. romesh Jan 08
It was a great move, hope to change my future plans, i think i can come to work from Kurunegala without staying in colombo. cool
2. Rasika Jan 08
So this is not Kandy - Colombo expressway! its Colombo - Kurunegala expressway! A person going to Kandy to Colombo, has to got to Kurunegala, and from there to Colombo. This means it will take same amount of time as it takes now!!! So what kinda of a IDIOT would call this road Kandy - Colombo expressway??
1. Saman Jan 08
Really a good thinking.
Colmbo to Kurunegala road is always fully trafic. its getting more than 3 and half hours for the jurney. really wasting a long time.