Southern Expressway extension begins in December
The Ports and Highways Ministry will begin construction work on the Southern Expressway extension project upto Hambantota parallel to the opening of the second section of the Southern Expressway from Galle to Matara in December this year, Secretary, Ministry of Ports Development and Highways Ranjith Pemasiri told the Sunday Observer.
He said the Government signed an agreement with China to raise the requisite funds for the extension of the Southern Expressway up to Hamabantota during President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s visit to China in earlier this year.
The Cabinet this week approved the awarding of contracts of the Southern Expressway extension project on a proposal by President Rajapaksa in his capacity as the Minister of Ports Development and Highways.
Accordingly, the 96-kilometre stretch of the Southern Expressway extension from Matara to Hambantota will be done in three stages: the first stage from Matara to Beliatta (30 km), second stage from Beliatta to Wetiya (26 km) and the last stage from Mattala to Hambantota via Andarawewa (25 km).
The project to extend the Southern Expressway up to Hambantota is one of the key components in the road development network to support the Hambantota International Hub Development. Plans are also under way to connect the Southern Expressway to Arugam Bay to provide easy access to the Eastern Province.
Developing expressways has become a key component in Sri Lanka under President Rajapaksa and the opening of the first section of the Southern Expressway from Kottawa to Galle in November 2011 contributed immensely for road transportation. According to economic analysts the opening of the second phase of the expressway in December this year will boost economic development in the South.
President Rajapaksa is due to open the Katunayake expressway on October 27. The first section of the Outer Circular Road from Kottawa to Kaduwela will be open to the public by the end of this year adding more expressways to the road network in the country.
Courtesy : Sunday Observer