The Opening of the New Southern Highway Road

SEPTEMBER 22, 2012

The Opening of the New Southern Highway Road

On 27th November, 2011, President Mahinda Rajapakse had ceremonially inaugurated the new southern expressway of Sri Lanka that is actually the first access controlled highway of the country. The total length of the expressway is 96 km and it stretches from Kottawa to Pinnaduwa (Galle).

The Galle-to-Matara section is still under construction and is planned to be finished by 2013. There are also plans of extending the Expressing till Hambantota in order to connect it to Mattala International Airport which is yet not complete.

The two primary agencies which have funded the project are Japan Bank for International Corporation and Asian Development Bank. While the former had given financial assistance for the construction of the Kottawa-to-Kurundugahahetekma section, the latter had funded the construction of the Kurundugahahetekma-to-Pinnaduwa section. Export and Import Bank of China will be financing the remaining section i.e. the one from Pinnaduwa to Godagama.

While the Expressway’s design speed is 120 km per hr, its operation speed is 100 km per hr.

There are a number of objectives that are intended to be achieved by the concerned Expressway project:

•    Improving transport facilities in order to develop the Southern Region in the future
•    Encouraging and inviting more industries for the social and economic development of the region
•    Promoting transport facilities between regions
•    Reducing time of travel from Colombo to Matara
•    Facilitating development of agriculture, industries and fisheries in the region
•    Enhancing the worth of property and land in the region
•    Attracting investors of private sectors and assisting in expanding the job market
•    Reducing fuel and delay costs and traffic congestion on the Matara-Colombo road

Thus the Southern Expressway promises to unfurl infinite possibilities and opportunities.

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