Dec 06, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa today opened the first travel service center on Southern Expressway, Sri Lanka's first ever expressway, and the interchange at Kottawa connecting the Southern Expressway to the Outer Circular Highway.
The service center at Welipanna, complete with modern facilities, play area for children, shops and restaurants, will function as an affiliated state institution of the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation.
The President also opened the interchange connecting the Southern Expressway and the Outer Circular Highway at Kottawa Makumbura this afternoon.
The toll plaza at Kottawa interchange has five entry lanes and eight exit lanes.
The Southern Expressway will be connected to Colombo-Kandy Expressway and Colombo-Katunayake Airport Expressway that are currently under construction via the Colombo Outer Circular Highway which is expected to reduce the traffic congestion in the city and provide faster access to outskirts.
According to the Deputy Minister of Highways Nirmala Kotelawala, the Colombo-Katunayake Highway is scheduled to be completed in 2013 and the work on the Colombo-Kandy Expressway has also commenced.
Work on extending the Southern Expressway to Matara has been completed by 50 percent while the plans are also underway to extend the highway from Matara to Hambantota.
Ambassador of Japan in Colombo Nobuhito Hobo, ministers, parliamentarians and foreign delegates participated in the events.
(Photos by Sudath Silva)