Express Deal

Aug 01, 2008 (2008) – The Sri Lankan government plans to award a Chinese firm the contract to build a long-delayed expressway linking the capital Colombo with the island’s sole international airport north of the city. Government officials said Cabinet approval is to be sought this month to grant permission to the Chinese firm to recommence work on the Colombo – Katunayake highway.

General Manager of the Road Development Authority R W R Premasiri said China’s Exim Bank has already expressed willingness to give a loan of 250 million dollars to build the 25 kilometre expressway.

The project, required to speed up and improve the flow of traffic between the airport and Colombo, has been delayed for years.

The existing road is over-crowded during peak hours and the flow of traffic is slow.

China Metallurgical Construction Corporation, which was selected to design and build the expressway, submitted their financial proposal as far back as May 2006.

The four-lane expressway is to be operated as a government-owned toll road and expected to carry traffic at 100 kilometres per hour.