Sept 10, Colombo: The construction of the new Rs. 28 billion Port Access Elevated Highway from the New Kelani Bridge to the Colombo Port City commenced today under the patronage of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Patali Champika Ranawaka, the Minister of Ports and Shipping Sagala Ratnayake and the Minister of Highways and Road Development Kabir Hashim joined the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in laying the foundation stone for the highway at the Colombo Port premises.
The Project Agreement between the China Civil Engineering Construction Company and the Road Development Authority o was also signed at the occasion in the presence of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Ambassador of China to Sri Lanka, Chang Xueyuan.
The Asian Development Bank's (ADB) has granted a $300 million loan to finance the construction of the Rs 28 billion elevated toll highway with related facilities between the New Kelani Bridge (NKB) and Galle Face in central Colombo.
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 an underground tunnel without interrupting the beauty of the Galle Face.
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 is expected to complete the construction of the Port Access Elevated Highway in three years.
Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera, Power, Energy and Enterprise Development Minister Ravi Karunanayake, Justice and Prison Reforms Minister Thalatha Atukorala, Primary Industries and Social Empowerment Minister Daya Gamage, Non-Cabinet Minister of Science, Technology and Research Sujeewa Senasinghe, MPs SM Marikkar and Mujibur Rahuman, Road Development Authority Chairman Nihal Suriyarachchi and several prominent politicians and government officials were present.