Checking Numbers

May 3 (LBO) – A Chinese construction firm selected to design and build the Colombo-Katunayake expressway submitted their financial proposal last week after a two-month delay. A government appointed technical evaluation committee is now going through the proposal and hopes to have their report out as early as next week, secretary to the Highways Ministry, Sirisena Amarasekera told our sister programme Lanka Viyaparika Puwath.

After many false starts, Sri Lanka appointed China Metallurgical Construction Corporation (MCC), to design and build the expressway, after the Chinese Exim Bank agreed to fund it through a soft loan.

Costing around 200 million dollars, the 26 kilometer roadway which leads the island’s sole international airport, is expected to cut travel time and boost the country’s image among arriving investors and tourists.

Once cabinet approves the financial proposal, construction could begin within three months with the road being opened for traffic by 2009.

The 4-lane expressway, is estimated to require around 4-million cubic meters of sand and rubble through the 3-year construction period.

To be operated as a government owned toll road, t