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* Expressway from Sri Lanka's Katunayake airport to capital to be opened in August
Tue, Mar 19, 2013, 12:58 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 18, Colombo: A new expressway linking Sri Lanka's main international airport in Katunayake to Colombo will be ready to open in August, the Economic Development Ministry said Monday.

The 26 kilometer-long Katunayake - Kelaniya Expressway built at a cost of US$ 291 million under the direction of President Mahinda Rajapaksa is part of the highway network connecting the already functioning Southern Expressway, proposed Northern Expressway and the Colombo Outer Circular Highway that is under construction.

When completed the road network will provide fast and easy access to the country's north and south and will avoid traffic when reaching the capital Colombo.

Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa recently inspected the Katunayake - Kelaniya Expressway and instructed the relevant officials to plant trees native to Sri Lanka on either side of the road after conserving the marshy lands on both sides of the expressway and cleaning the Dutch Canal.

The Minister noted that the true benefits of the Southern and Colombo-Katunayake Expressways can be reaped only after the completion of the Northern Expressway the initial work on which has already

begun.

The Northern Expressway will be constructed in three stages - the first from Enderamulla to Ambepussa, the second from Meerigama to Pellandeniya and the third from Ambepussa to Kandy.

The Minister has said that the planning has to be done causing the least damage to human settlements and the natural environment.

The technical report on the expressway construction, the environmental report, surveying the area, geological aspects and the resettlement of people who will be displaced as a result of land acquisition for the purpose are now being studied since the project is expected to meet the needs that would arise by 2030.



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