Feb 01, Colombo: The Construction work on the second phase of the Central Expressway from Meerigama to Kurunegala will begin today under the patronage of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at the invitation of Minister of University Education and Highways Lakshman Kiriella will launch the work from the Alawwa-Giriulla road at Kudagammana at the auspicious time of 10.30 this morning.
The Central Expressway will be completed in four stages by 2020. The first quarter is from Kadawatha to Meerigama (37.09 km), second quarter from Meerigama to Kurunegala (39.70 km), the access road (9.7 km) running up to Ambepussa is included, third quarter from Kurunegala, Pothuhara to Galagedara (32.50 km) and fourth quarter from Kurunegala to Dambulla (60.30 km).
The 39.7 km road segment from Meerigama to Kurunegala in the second phase will be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 137 billion. The 23-meter wide Expressway will comprise four lanes each with a width of 3.3 meters.
There will be five interchanges located as Meerigama, Nakalagamuwa, Malpitiya, Pothuhera and Kurunegala. The construction is expected to be completed in mid-2019.
The project is funded by China's EXIM Bank and Rs. 150 billion has been allocated for the second stage. Local contractors will carry out the construction and it will be completed by 2019, the Ministry of Highways said.
The Central Expressway will link the Western, Sabaragamuwa, Central, Northwestern and North Central Provinces. Once completed the travelling time between these Provinces will be significantly shortened. According to the Highways Minister public can travel to Kurunegala within one hour once the road is constructed.
The Highways Ministry said that this would be an impetus to the progress of every sector including the economic, administrative and transport spheres.