The Government this week decided to obtain a loan facility from Asian Development Bank, valued at $ 300 million, to build a Port Access Elevated Highway to Colombo Fort and Port, aimed at minimising traffic congestion in the area, Cabinet Co-spokesperson Gayantha Karunathilaka said. Loan negotiations to build the highway from Colombo Katunayake Expressway via New Kelani Bridge, with a total estimated cost of $ 360.2 million, is to take place in the third quarter of this year, with the balance amount of $60.2 million to be borne by the Government.
The loan is to be obtained at an annual interest rate of LIBOR + 0.6% less a credit of 0.1% , with a repayment period of 29 years and a grace period of 8 years, the Cabinet of Ministers were told.
The development has clearly outlined outputs where the new highway of 5.3 km from Kalani Bridge is to have a dedicated ramp to the Colombo Port. The existing 1.4 km port access road will be upgraded to 6 lanes. Further, 49 port trade facilities will be relocated to make way for the developments, with a separate Maritime Facilitation Centre, where the Ministry of Ports and Shipping and Sri Lanka Ports Authority will be appointed as the executing agency. Sri Lanka Customs will be the agency to implement the project components dealing with trade logistic facilitation, including a diagnostic study on risk management system, a feasibility study for off-dock facility preparation, and technical design of cargo tracking system.
The project also aims to strengthen the operation capacity of the expressways, where the Road Development Authority will prepare toll rate guidelines under the expressway network, establish an IT section in the RDA, and improve expressway management.