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Monday, May 20, 2024

Six Lane New Kelani Bridge vested in the public today

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The six lane New Kelani Bridge connecting Colombo City will be vested in the public by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa today at 6 pm.

Highways Minister Johnston Fernando said that the New Kelani Bridge was constructed with advanced technology culminating in several milestones in transport technology in Sri Lanka.

The bridge has two sections – the extradosed bridge section over the river and the steel box girder viaduct section over the existing roadway. Both technologies were used for the first time in Sri Lanka.The extradosed design enabled the bridge to have the widest span without piers in any bridge in Sri Lanka.

As no piers needed to be constructed on the river bed, there is no impact to the water flow or ecology of the river itself. The steel box girder technology enabled the viaduct section to be constructed with narrower curves to optimize space and quicker construction to optimize resources with minimum disruption to traffic.

The six-lane bridge extends southwards from Colombo-Katunayake Expressway and divides towards Port Access Road ending at the Ingurukade Intersection and Baseline Road ending at Orugodawatte Intersection.

Following the need of a new bridge that could cater to the increased volume of traffic with the opening of Colombo-Katunayake Expressway, the bridge was designed in 2012 and its feasibility study was conducted in 2013 and agreements were signed in 2014 when Mahinda Rajapaksa was the President and Highways Minister. The Bridge has six lanes from the end of the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway to the Bandaranaike Roundabout and will be four lanes from there on to the Orugodawatte, Ingurukade Junction and the Port entrance.

The length of the bridge section across the Kelani River is 380 meters.The bridge has been constructed in two stages. The first package, the steel output bridge section, is at a cost of Rs.31,593 million, while the second stage, the concrete suspension bridge section, is at a cost of Rs.9,896 million.

Trees that could absorb particulate matter, black carbon and dust, while tolerating heat have been planted along the new bridge and connecting roads including the Kelanitissa circular road and the road to the bridge from the Orugodawatte junction which is considered a highly populated urban area. Officials of the Department of National Botanical Gardens have recommended that trees that could work as “lungs” of an ecosystem because they absorb carbon dioxide and emit oxygen should be selected for the purpose.

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