July 16, Colombo: The new expressway linking Sri Lanka's main international airport in Katunayake to Colombo will be ready to open in September, the Economic Development Ministry said Monday.
The Ministry said arrangements are being made to open the 26 kilometer-long Katunayake - Kelaniya Expressway built at a cost of US$ 291 million in September.
Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa inspected the expressway Sunday and instructed the relevant officials to plant trees native to Sri Lanka on either side of the road after conserving the marshy lands on either side of the expressway and cleaning the Dutch Canal.
According to the Ministry, the highway is planned to have three lanes each way from Colombo to Peliyagoda and two lanes each way, from Peliyagoda to Katunayake with the width ranging from 26 to 34 meters.
Speed limit will be 80 kilometers per hour (50 mph) for the first eight kilometers (5.0 mi) and 110 km/h (68 mph) for the rest of the road.
The expressway, built 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.
Once 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.