The Colombo-Matara Express Highway (also known as the Southern Lanka Express Highway or simply the Southern Expressway) is a highway currently under construction in Sri Lanka. The 126 km (78.2 mile) long highway will link the Sri Lankan Capital Colombo with Matara, a major city in the South of the Island. Construction on the highway began in 2006 and it is expected to be completed in 2010 at the cost of $600 million. When completed it will reduce the time taken to travel from Colombo to Matara to one and a half hours from the current four hours.
As of December 2006, the first phase of construction is underway from Matara to Kurundugahahetekma. The second phase of the construction will be from Kurundugahahetekma to Kottawa. There are also plans to further extend the Highway to Weerawila. This would extend the highway by approximately 100 km (62 miles).
The Asian Development Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency are providing financial assistance for the express highway project, which will be completed by the year 2010. Some 1300 families have been moved because of this project. Of these, 550 families have been provided with new land to build their houses. Southern Transport Development Project (ADB funded Section) Preliminary Engineering and Detailed Design has consulted by Resources Development Consultants-RDC Sri Lanka.RDC provided a team of road design engineers, geotechnical engineers, traffic engineers, survey specialists, resettlement specialists, sociologists, environmental experts and other support staff to carry out the preliminary and detailed engineering services.
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