June 08, 2016 (LBO) – Construction work on Sri Lanka’s Rajagiriya overhead bridge was inaugurated on Monday by Harsha de Silva, the deputy minister of foreign affairs, and Lakshman Kiriella, minister of higher education and highways.
The 534-metre long, four-lane bridge will be the longest in the country, and the first phase of the project is expected to be completed by the end of next year, de Silva said. The second stage is scheduled to be completed in late 2018.
It is estimated that more than one hundred thousand vehicles cross the Welikada Junction in Rajagiriya daily.
About 30,000 vehicles enter Colombo city daily using this main road; 17,000 of these vehicles directly travel towards Colombo without using by-roads, and the rest use by-roads.
“When these vehicles enter into the main road from by-roads, it causes delays for the vehicles which are traveling on the main road. Therefore our expectation is to use this flyover for the vehicles which travel directly to Colombo and for those which travel from Colombo to Battaramulla,” de Silva said.
“The experts in the field of transportation have stated that this will be a solution for the heavy traffic in the city.”
The average speed of a vehicle from Diyatha Uyana to Devi Balika Vidyalaya is about 2.5-3 kilometres per hour during heavy traffic congestion. In the evening, this speed is about 9 kilometres per hour.
It is estimated that the speed for the section from Diyatha Uyana to Devi Balika Vidyalaya would increase to 20 km per hour with the bridge in place.
This project will be funded under the relief credit line by the government of Spain and the value of the investment will be around 5 billion rupees.
Seventy percent of this amount will be obtained at the relief interest rate of 0.15 percent for a 40-year period with a grace period of 4 years.
The remaining 30 percent will be obtained at the interest rate of 1.95 percent. This amount should be paid back within 13 years with a grace period of 03 years.