Feasibility studies for the Colombo-Ratnapura expressway from the Kahathuduwa interchange on the Southern Expressway are being finalised and construction work is expected to begin this year, Ports and Highways Ministry’s Project Minister Nirmala Kothalwala said.
The 71.8-kilometre expressway will be stretch from Colombo to Pelmadulla via Ratnapura and will be connected to the Kahathuduwa interchange of the Southern Expressway. It will pass through Horana, Gelanigama, Handapangoda, Ingiriya, Munasinhapura, Kiriella, Otuwagala, Eheliyagoda, Kithulpe, Dogampe, Kosgoda, Kuruwita and Pelmadulla via Ratnapura. Kahathuduwa will be the first access road on this expressway.
The project is being initiated to minimize the congestion on the Colombo-Ratnapura Road and reduce travel time.
The minister said once completed it would take 45 minutes to travel from Colombo to Ratnapura and one hour from Colombo to Pelmadulla. He said at present it takes two hours to reach Ratnapura through the Bandaragama access road because of the many bends on the Panadura-Ratnapura Road.
The minister said a land area with a low population was selected for the project and a good compensation methodology will be implemented for those who lose house and property.
The project is expected to be completed by 2019. (Rumana Razick)