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* New bridge across Batticaloa lagoon in to be opened on April 19
Sat, Apr 5, 2014, 11:45 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 05, Colombo: A new bridge constructed across the Batticaloa lagoon connecting Batticaloa district to Ampara district in Eastern Sri Lanka will be opened on April 19 for the public.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa will declare open the newly constructed Manmunai Bridge across Batticaloa lagoon on Thalankuda-Manmunai-Mavadimunmari Road.

The new bridge constructed at a cost of Rs.1.87 billion fulfills a long felt need of the people in the Eastern Province, Ports, Highways and Shipping Project Minister Nirmala Kothalawala said.

As the main transport mode across the lagoon, small ferries are not available during heavy rains and flooding, construction of the Manmunai Bridge aimed at connecting the western and eastern parts of the lagoon to improve the accessibility to health and education services, trade and commerce and open up new livelihood opportunities for the people.

"The new bridge plays an important role in connecting the Batticaloa district with the Ampara district. Until the construction of new bridge, the people used the ferry service to cross the Batticaloa lagoon. The newly constructed Manmunai Bridge will make river crossings easier, whereas ferries took hours," Minister Kothalawala has said.

The bridge, which is 210 meters in length and 9.8 meters wide, has been constructed utilizing Rs. 397 million local funds and Rs.1.473 billion, under the grant aid from Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency(JICA).

In line with the construction of the bridge, a new causeway with an average length of 488 meters and 10 meters in width has also been constructed on either side of the bridge to access to the new bridge.

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