President flags off work on Matara-Hambantota segment of Southern Expressway


President Maithripala Sirisena on Saturday inaugurated construction work on the extension of the Southern Expressway from Matara to Hambantota.
The President and Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Yi Xianliang, unveiled the plaque at the Nilwala entrance on the expressway at Godagama in Matara.
The expenditure for the construction of the 75-kilometer segment from Matara-Godagama to Hambantota Harbor via Beliatta, Andarawewa and Mattala-Matara-Hambantota segment of Sri Lanka’s Southern Expressway is estimated at Rs. 45 billion. The project is being funded by China.

The completed Southern Expressway from Kottawa in Colombo to Hambantota will be connected to Colombo-Kandy Expressway and Colombo-Katunayake Airport Expressway via the Colombo Outer Circular Highway which is expected to reduce the traffic congestion in the Colombo city and provide faster access to regions along its outskirts.
In the first phase, the segment of the Southern Expressway from Kottawa to Pinnaduwa in Galle was constructed and opened to the public on 27 November 2011.
The construction of the first phase was jointly funded by JICA and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The 35-kilometer segment of Southern Expressway from Pinnaduwa in Galle to Godagama was constructed in the second phase at a cost of $ 180 million with the funds from EXIM Bank of China. It was opened to the public on 15 March 2014.
UNP General Secretary and Highways Minister Kabir Hashim, Mangala Samaraweera, Mahinda Amaraweera, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, Southern Province Chief Minister Shan Wijeyalal de Silva, Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Yi Xianliang, and several other politicians and senior state officials were also present at the event.

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