The second stage of the Outer Circular Highway (OCH) from Kaduwela to Kadawatha will be ceremonially opened by President Maithripala Sirisena next week.
The 8.9 kilometre Kaduwela – Kadawatha stretch of the OCH was constructed to connect the Southern Expressway, the Katunayake-Colombo Expressway and Colombo-Kandy or Colombo-Northern Expressway, to enable motorists using these roads to bypass Colombo to reach their destinations.
Construction of the second phase of the OCH from Kaduwela to Kadawatha began in 2012 at an estimated cost of Rs. 49 billion. The cost included, construction of five overpass bridges and the 250 metre long 6-lane bridge over the Kelani River.
The four-lane Expressway will have three toll office buildings and six toll plazas. This enables motorists to reach Matara from Kadawatha within one and half hours.
The OCH would provide alternate means for the public to reach their destinations without having to travel to Colombo, which could be time-consuming for motorists.
The construction of the OCH had been carried out in three phases.
The length of the OCH will be around 29.1 km starting from Kottawa and ending at Kerawalapitiya, providing an orbital beltway to bypass the city of Colombo and reduce traffic congestion.
The total estimated cost of the project is Rs.136 billion. The first section from Kottawa to Kaduwela was initiated in December 2009 and commissioned last year.
Construction work on the third phase of the OCH from Kadawatha to Kerawalapitiya, is also progressing successfully.
The OCH was developed as a four-lane Highway with provision for future expansion to six-lanes. The designed speed of the Highway is 100 kmph.