Highway Hopes

Mar 18, 2011 (LBO) – Construction work on stage one of Sri Lanka’s first expressway is set to end this month with 99 percent of the work over, according to details revealed by the Road Development Authority. The southern expressway, being built in four stages, will have a total length of 131.1 kilometres and allow 100 kilometres an hour travel between the capital Colombo and the southern town of Matara.

The total cost of the first three phases of the project with a highway length of 95.3 km to the southern town of Galle has risen to 59.5 billion rupees, according to the RDA.

The first stage of the road to be done, by end-March, a 29.3 km section between the town of Kurundugahahetekma and Pinnaduwa, in southern Galle, is funded by a loan from the Asian Development Bank.

Contractor Kumagai Gumi of Japan started work in April 2003 and the cost of this project has increased to 24.1 billion rupees, the RDA said.

Another section of 34.4 km from Kottawa, a suburb of Colombo, to Dodangoda, which is funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), started in September 2005 and is scheduled to end in July 2011.

The RDA said 85 percent of the work on this section is over. It is being bu