Construction work of the elevated bridge parallel to the Kelani Bridge is scheduled to commence this year with the Road Development Authority (RDA) ready to call for tenders soon.
Sources said officials were acquiring land on either side of the river for the bridge which is to be wider than the existing one.
RDA Director General M.P.K.L. Gunaratne pointed out that the new bridge would be the first construction for the government’s plans to build an elevated highway from Dematagoda which exits at the Colombo Port and Katunayake Expressway.
He mentioned that there were a number of protests against the acquisition of land, but the RDA was moving ahead with the project.
The elevated bridge would relocate 400 families along with a number of high tension power cables in the project area, the Road Development Authority (RDA) mentioned.
The bridge which is to function as the gateway to Colombo, collectively with the elevated highway, will help ease the traffic congestion within Colombo city limits and the Peliyagoda area.
Mr. Gunaratne said the government anticipated that the elevated highways would be a major part of the solution to the ever-increasing traffic congestion in Colombo and suburban areas such as Battaramulla and Rajagiriya.
The RDA stated that the Atomic Energy Agency, National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority and high tension cables of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) needed to be relocated in order to facilitate the project, and that measures were being taken to carry out the relocation.(Piyumi Fonseka)