Sept 10, Colombo: Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will lay the foundation stone today (10) for the construction of Sri Lanka's first elevated expressway connecting the Colombo Port city and the New Kelani Bridge.
According to the government's national strategy, the construction of the 5.9 km Port Access Road and related facilities will be funded by a US $ 300 million loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The leading construction company of the project is the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation and the consulting firm is a joint institution of three consultancy firms in the United States, England and Sri Lanka.
The Port Access Road will connect to the New Kelani Bridge at Ingurukade intersection and from there to the Colombo Port City will be constructed on pillars.
From the Port city, the expressway will connect to the Marine Drive through the proposed tunnel without interrupting the beauty of the Galle Face.
Through the project, the ADB aims to address key obstacles to development by strengthening economic development and improving growth quality.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has made significant contributions to provide infrastructure to enhance regional cooperation by providing better connectivity to the Colombo Port. It also assists the Road Development Authority (RDA) with the financial management and operation and maintenance of highways.
With the completion of the Port Access Road, it will take only 4 minutes to travel from the Galle Face to Peliyagoda.
Since the new Kelani Bridge will directly connect to the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway on the north side, and extend to Orugodawatta intersection on the south side, connecting with Port Access road will allow the possibility to travel to outskirts of Colombo without any congestion.
It also offers a range of services such as lower fuel costs, reduced vehicle maintenance costs, new employment opportunities, increased investment opportunities and tourism.
Since container freight traffic will be given a new entrance the congestion on roads mainly around Orugodawatta, Baseline Road and surrounding areas will be significantly reduced.
Since the Port Access Road is being constructed at the Colombo Port premises, there will be no land acquisition and the disruption to the public will be minimized.
In addition, the project will enhance the Colombo Port premises by demolishing many irregular buildings in the port premises. Construction of a new 17-storey state-of-the-art modern shipping center for the Sri Lanka Port Authority has already started.
The construction work of the Port Access Road project is expected to be completed in three years.