Consolidated plan to ease Colombo traffic

New bridge over existing Kelani Bridge:

Road connecting Katunayake Expressway, Marine Drive and Battaramulla:

With the construction of the Port City to begin shortly, a consolidated plan is being drawn to avoid traffic congestion to and from Colombo’s central business area.

Plans are afoot for a bridge over the new Kelani Bridge, along with the elevated Port Access Road. According to the Supplementary Environment (SEIA) Report of the Port City, this project will be funded via a Special Economic Partnership Loan from the Government of Japan/JICA. Feasibility studies for the new bridge were completed in August 2013 and the Loan Agreement with JICA was signed on March 28, 2014. Urban Development Authority sources told the Sunday Observer that the road, which begins from the Katunayake Expressway and runs over the Kelani river, will pass the Colombo Port and connect with the Marine Drive, while another branch will connect Battaramulla.

However, the SEIA report states that funding is still pending for the elevated Port Access Road, which is 5.2 km in length with four lanes. The report also states that the CMC has agreed to proceed with connecting Baladaksha Mawatha to Galle Road, even though the project is yet to receive funding from the Government.

The implementation of these infrastructure development initiatives are necessary to achieve the government’s stated vision of Colombo emerging as a regional financial, commercial and port hub the report stated.

Although this is a priority in the Port City Project proponent, the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development, policy action at this level is beyond the control of the Project Company, the SEIA said.

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