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* Construction work on the first section of the Central Expressway begins with Chinese funds
Tue, Sep 15, 2020, 11:39 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Sept 15, Colombo: Construction work on the first section of the Central Expressway began today (15), the Chinese Embassy in Colombo said.

The embassy said in a Twitter message that the construction of the Central Expressway Section I from Kadawatha to Meerigama formally started this morning.

The embassy said construction would create 1,500 direct and indirect jobs for Sri Lankan workers.

The Metallurgical Corporation of China is the main contractor for the project funded by a concessional loan from Exim Bank of China.

The Export- Import Bank of China (EXIM Bank) agreed to provide a concessional loan of US$ 989 million covering 85% of the contract price, for the Central Expressway Project - Section 1 from Kadawatha to Meerigama and Sri Lanka signed the agreement with the EXIM Bank of China in March 2019.

The total estimated cost of the project is US$ 1.164 billion. Furthermore, this loan is the single largest loan approved by the EXIM Bank of China for Sri Lanka.

The four-lane Central Expressway will be completed in four segments. 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, Pothuhera to Galagedara (32.50 km) and fourth quarter from Kurunegala to Dambulla (60.30 km).

Section 1 of the CEP will start from Kadawatha where four expressways, namely Outer Circular Highway (OCH) II, OCH III and Colombo-Katunayake Expressway and the Central Expressway link through the Kadawatha interchange.

This will create an uninterrupted connectivity from Hambanthota to Katunayake or Hambanthota to Kandy linking several provinces and economically important ports, airports and commercial cities. This proposed highway will improve the inter-regional connectivity and efficiency of the entire expressway network.


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