Rs. 45 bn concessionary loan from JICA to construct gateway to Colombo


Architectural perspective of the new Kelani Bridge

A concessionary loan agreement for JPY 35,020 million (approx. Rs. 45 Billion) is planned to be signed on March28 between the government of Sri Lanka and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the construction of a new 6-lane bridge across the Kelani river at Peliyagoda. The new bridge will extend southwards from Colombo-Katunayake Expressway, and divide towards Port Access Road and Baseline Road.

A JICA release said: The bridge is designed as an extra dozed bridge, such that no piers need to be constructed on the river bed. This will minimize any impact to the water-flow and ecological balance. Japanese technology is to be used to construct this land mark bridge which will become the Gateway to Colombo city. In order to promote technology transfer and economic cooperation between Sri Lanka and Japan, JICA’s loan is provided under the Special Terms for Economic Partnership, with 0.1% p.a. interest and 40 year repayment period.

‘The buildings of the Atomic Energy Agency, and National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority located in the vicinity have to be relocated to make way for the new Bridge and interchange. Both organizations have been allocated new land, and replacement buildings will be constructed under the Project with JICA financing.

‘Over 400 low-income households are located in the site earmarked for the Project as well. These households suffer much hardship every year due to inundation when the water level of the Kelani river rises. All of these affected families will receive new houses with all amenities at UDA housing complexes nearby. The resettlement is conducted by Road Development Authority in accordance with the National Involuntary Resettlement Policy and JICA’s environmental and social safeguard process, to ensure inclusive development through these large scale projects.

‘Since the new bridge is to be constructed at high elevation, and over critical national roadways with high traffic volume, appropriate safety measures during construction are critical to ensure the safety of the construction personnel and the general public. JICA will continue to pay special attention to safety aspects in implementation of the Projects.

‘The loan agreement for the new Kelani Bridge is JICA’s 44th loan package to Sri Lanka, and will be signed by Dr. P. B. Jayasundara, Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Planning, and Kiyoshi Amada, Chief Representative of JICA Sri Lanka Office. The project is implemented by the Road Development Authority under the guidance of Ministry of Highways, Ports & Shipping.

‘JICA is the implementing agency for Official Development Assistance from the government of Japan, and is one of the largest contributors to the transport sector in Sri Lanka. JICA financed 66km of the Southern Expressway and finances both Phase I and Phase II of the Outer Circular Expressway to Colombo. JICA is also currently financing Phase II of the Bandaranaike International Airport.


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