President cracks whip on major road projects | Daily News


Tells officials: speedy completion of Central, Ratnapura expressways, Marine Drive

President cracks whip on major road projects

Priority for Ratnapura expressway
Rapid solutions to metro Colombo traffic jams
Marine Drive parallel to Galle Road to be extended up to Panadura
Construction should be handled by local engineers

President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has instructed his officials to expedite construction work on the Central Expressway and other major road in the country to facilitate easy travel and minimise congestion. During a meeting with Highway Ministry officials yesterday, the President had also discussed the completion of the Marine Drive, Colombo, in order to ease the traffic congestion along the Galle Road, officials told Daily News.

These source disclosed that the President has stressed at the meeting that the first phase of the Matara to Hambantota expressway segment should be completed and opened as soon as possible. Similarly, work should be expedited on the Central Expressway segments from Kadawatha to Kurunegala via Meerigama, Kurunegala to Dambulla and, Pothuhera to Galagedara.

President Rajapaksa had said that once the Kadawatha to Dambulla expressway is completed, people could travel to the Northern, Eastern and the Western Provinces within a short space of time which would create good connectivity and serve as an economic corridor for development countrywide.

A 76 km stretch of expressway from Ingiriya to Ratnapura will be added to the expressway network.

The President noted that expediting the Kandy road tunnel would ease traffic congestion in that area. He also issued instructions to expedite the construction of all partially constructed roads and bridges and, that the rural road network should also be upgraded in line with the main roads.

President Rajapaksa also instructed the officials to come up with solutions to the traffic congestion on the Galle Road, and the Kaduwela, High Level and Piliyandala roads towards Colombo during the morning rush hour and evenings. Overpasses and tunnels should be constructed to ease congestion. The President also noted that the possibility of constructing the elevated road from Dematagoda to Battaramulla via Wanathamulla should be considered as this would provide a solution to the traffic congestion at Borella and Rajagiriya.

The President stressed the need ensure the contribution of local engineers in all construction activities.

The public transportation should be developed too, the President said. The importance of streamlining luxury bus services and school bus services to minimize the influx of motor vehicles in the Colombo metro region was also discussed.

Attention was also drawn to reserve parking slots within the city limits of Colombo in collaboration with Urban Development Authority. Highlighting the importance of parking facilities made available at business premises President called for the halt to damages being caused to electricity, water and telephone lines during road construction and repairs.

Minister Johnson Fernando, State Minister Lohan Ratwatte, Secretary to the President Dr. P. B. Jayasundara, Secretary to the Ministry of Finance S. Attygalle, Secretary to the Ministry of Highways R. W. R. Pemasiri and several officials were also present at the discussion.

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