Central Express

Oct 28, 2011 (LBO) – Eight firms, including from Malaysia and Korea have expressed interest in building a highway to Sri Lanka’s central hill city of Kandy, deputy highways minister Nirmala Kothelawala said. According to the preliminary data on Sri Lanka’s Road Development Authority website, the Kandy Colombo Expressway will be a 98 kilometre road with a design speed of 100 kilometres an hour for part of the highway and 80 for the rest. “We are in discussions with them,” Kothelawala said. “We hope to decide finalize the project by May 2012.”

He said the government had the choice of funding it by debt or allowing investors to finance it and operate it as a toll road.

A recent media report said Malaysia’s Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) had give three billion ringgit (about one billion US dollars) proposal involving three parties to Sri Lanka.

The expressway expected to cut the travel time from Colombo to Kandy from the current two and a half to three hours to about 55 minutes.

Kothelawala said according to current plans most of the expressway will be elevated.