Katunayake expressway to be ready in AugustView(s):
Colombo to BIA in 20 minutes with additional safety features
By Damith Wickremasekara
Facilities to minimise glare for motorists from headlamps of vehicles coming from the opposite direction, reducing stagnation of water and easy access for emergency vehicles will be some of the added features included in the Katunayake Expressway project.
The project is due to be completed in August next year with most of its work completed enabling access to the Bandaranaike International Airport in 20 minutes from Colombo, Road Development Authority (RDA) Chairman R.W.R.Premasiri told the Sunday Times.
The project is estimated to cost Rs. 32 billion with 85 per cent of the funding coming from China. The remainder is to be locally funded. Engineer A.M.Seneviratne told the Sunday Times the project will have additional features which are not available in the Southern Expressway project.
“We have been able to improve from the first expressway project,” he added. He said among the features there would be more greenery in the centre of the road which will be helpful to cut off the glare of headlamps from vehicles coming from the opposite direction, in addition to improving the surrounding environment.
Mr. Seneviratne said that special efforts have been taken to prevent the accumution of rain water to prevent accidents and a drainage system has been built in the centre of the road instead of allowing the water to cross the road.
He said that folding gates have been built every two kilometres in the centre railing to ensure that emergency vehicles such as ambulances or repair vehicles can reach the destination easily. This facility is not available on the Southern Expressway.
He said a three metre ‘shoulderline’ providing facilities to vehicles with mechanical defects to stop has been provided with this being an improvement from the Southern Expressway project.
“Taking into consideration that the project road passes through marshy land, villages and parts of the lagoon, facilities have been introduced to protect the environment. Among them will be tunnels which could be used by animals such as dogs and cattle for safely crossing from one side of the road to the other,” he said.
He said this too is an improvement from the Southern Expressway as there were instances where dogs and other animals were hit by vehicles leading to accidents. “In this case it will be useful to protect the animals as well,” he added.
He said that all provisions to provide facilities such as additional lighting, telecom cables, water mains have been provided for. The expressway will have five interchanges.
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