Feb 21, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government has proposed to construct a new bridge over the Kelani River to ease the traffic congestion on the roads linking suburbs to the capital Colombo city.
While the volume of traffic in the city of Colombo has been steadily increasing over the past few years, the bridges over the Kelani River remain a bottleneck.
Highway authorities expect the traffic congestion at new Kelani Bridge to increase further as a result of opening of Colombo - Katunayake Expressway (CKE) and the future traffic demand to exceed the capacity of the existing bridge.
To alleviate the traffic congestion, the government has proposed to build an elevated road network to divert the Colombo' traffic to the expressway network.
The planned new bridge across the Kelani River will link Colombo city and Colombo - Katunayake Expressway to mitigate and disperse the increased traffic congestion in the city areas.
A new six lane bridge will be constructed in parallel to the existing new Kelani Bridge using advanced Japanese technology.
The project has been designed by considering the estimated future traffic volume around the Kelani bridge from 2022 to 2035.
The Government of Japan has agreed to provide a loan amounting to Japanese Yen 35 billion (approximately Rs.45.5 billion) through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the construction of the second new Kelani bridge.
The proposal to construct a new bridge made by the President, in his capacity as the Minister of Finance and planning, has received the Cabinet approval.