C’bo-Katunayake expressway ready next year

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

Construction work on the long awaited Colombo-Katunayake Expressway would be completed by the next year, Ports and Highways Deputy Minister Nirmala Kothalawala said.

Nearly 45 percent of the work has been completed. The rest of the work was progressing expeditiously, he said.

The length of the expressway was around 25.8 km starting from the New Kelani Bridge and ending at the Airport Access Road at Katunayake. The total estimated cost of the project was US$ 292 million, the deputy minister said.

Colombo-Katunayake expressway has four interchanges, at the New Kelani Bridge, Peliyagoda, Ja-ela and Katunayake. The expressway will have 40 bridges and 88 culverts. The construction of 27 bridges and 50 culverts had already been completed, Kothlawala said.

It is estimated that upon completion of the expressway, commuters could travel from Colombo to Katunayake in 20 minutes.

Nearly 40 percent of the work of Colombo Outer Circular Highway had been completed, he added.

The deputy minister said that three elevated highways were to be constructed from Kirulapone to Kadawata, Colombo Fort to Kottawa and Colombo Fort to Peliyagoda. A 19-km segment from Kirulapone to Kadawata would connect the outer circular highway, the belt around Colombo under construction, at Kadawata and the Colombo-Katunayake expressway at Peliyagoda, he said. Another segment of 21 kilometres from Colombo Fort to Kottawa would connect the Southern Expressway and outer circular highway at Kottawa. The approximately 5km highway from Colombo Fort to Peliyagoda would connect at the interchanges at Peliyagoda on the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway that connects the country’s international airport, the deputy minister said.

According to the ministry the first phase of the Colombo-Kandy highway would be from Kadawatha to Mirigama and the segment up to Mirigama has already been cleared. The 98km Colombo-Kandy highway is to be extended to the North as well. It would be connected to Trincolmalee and the North.

Kothalawala also said that a 480m-long flyover would be built near the Ceylon Fertilizer Cooperation at Hunupitiya and another will be built from the Katunayake junction to the airport. Two roads would also be built by connecting the Colombo Negombo road in Peliyagoda and Ja-Ela, he said.

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