Jan 18, Colombo: Access Engineering PLC, the pioneers in the flyover construction in Sri Lanka said that it successfully completed the construction of three flyovers as a solution to the heavy traffic congestion in the areas of Rajagiriya, Ganemulla and Polgahawela, the company said in a release.
Construction work on the three projects was initiated by the Road Development Authority under the Ministry of Higher Education and Highways in mid-2016 due to the heavy traffic congestion, which has long been a point of contention among daily commuters in these areas.
The projects were funded by the Government of Spain, while the design and supply of the superstructures were entrusted to Centunion S A of Spain as the main contractor and the design and construction of substructure, on-site fabrication, the installation and erection of the steel superstructure were subcontracted to Access Engineering PLC.
Rajagiriya town, administered by the Kotte Municipal Council, is situated about 10km away from Colombo. Rajagiriya is identified as one of the heavy-traffic areas in the city suburbs, where more than 75,000 vehicles pass through daily, inclusive of a large number of public and private transport buses.
The Rajagiriya flyover, 363m in length, was built to accommodate four traffic lanes on two individual decks, where the width of a lane is 3.5m. The flyover now takes daily commuters amassed at 4+800km near Victoria Home up to Sri Jayewardenepura Mawatha at 5+570km, close to Buthgamuwa Road Junction near the Fuel Filling Station.
Polgahawela Railway Station is located at an important railway junction where the main railway line from Colombo branches off to Jaffna, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Kandy and Badulla. Around 130 trains travel through the Polgahawela rail junction, necessitating the continuous shunting of trains, which leads to long gate closures for approximately 400 minutes per day at the level crossing located along Polgahawela - Kegalle road (A19). And this causes severe traffic congestion by the sides of the level crossing.
As a permanent solution, an erection of a 234m long steel flyover, comprising two 3.5m lanes and two 1.5m wide pedestrian ways, was proposed. The flyover was built on a six-span steel superstructure, of which the maximum span is of 45m length. The approach road system comprises of 3.5m wide two-lane carriageway and 1.2m wide raised foot walks for pedestrians. The alignment of the flyover takes a detour around the existing level crossing to improve the overall road geometry while eliminating the need for extensive land acquisitions and utility re-locations.
Ganemulla Town was also recognized as an area with high traffic congestion. It is located 9km away from Kadawatha Town, mainly developed around Ganemulla Railway Station. The town spreads about 250m and 500m towards Kirindiwita and Kadawatha from the railway crossing. Numerous public utilities are spread along the Kadawatha–Ganemulla (B58) Road, centralizing the Ganemulla Railway Station and level crossing. Around 125 trains traveling to and fro Colombo – Badulla, Kandy, Jaffna, Trincomalee, Mannar and Batticaloa pass Ganemulla Railway Station necessitating the closure of the rail gates frequently causing severe traffic congestions by the sides of the level crossings.
To remedy the situation, 256m long flyover was built with 3.5m wide two-lane carriageways and 1.2m wide two-pedestrian ways. The flyover is built on pile foundations and a seven-span steel superstructure. The steel components of the superstructure including piers, girders and decking were imported from Spain through the main contract and were installed by the construction & engineering team at Access Engineering PLC.
"All three flyovers are now completed and commissioned to public, we feel accomplished to see that all three projects come to fruition at once, while contributing to better transportation, benefitting the economy as well as the quality of life among people in different corners of the country," said Project Manager Jeewaka Dahanayake, who oversaw all three flyover projects.