China Continues Sri Lankan Belt & Road Development With Central Expressway
The construction of Sr Lanka’s Central Expressway and the continual development of Sri Lankan infrastructure by China has continued with the start of the Kadawatha to Meerigama section. China’s Exim Bank has provided a US$989 million loan for the project, with the Sri Lankan government making the first payment, to the Metallurgical Corporation of China as the main contractor.
The Central Expressway is a project that will reach from Colombo, the capital city, and run through to Kandy, Sri Lanka’s second city and its cultural capital. The current route takes 5 hours, and is heavily congested. The Central Expressway will reduce the journey time to about 90 minutes. The road will eventually head further north to Dambulla, and connect with the Eastern Expressway to Trincomalee. Plans for the Central Expressway completion have been on the drawing board for 15 years.
Sri Lanka is currently going through a property boom at present as several projects come to completion, not least the Colombo Port City which will see a back office alternative to nearby Singapore come to fruition. The country was held back in terms of infrastructure development by its civil war, which finished in 2009, and the country has been playing catch up in terms of improving its connectivity since then. Other Chinese built projects have also come to completion such as the Southern Expressway, and the countries second airport at Hambantota, which is soon to be connected with Sr Lanka’s national rail network.
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