Matara-Hambantota extension of Southern Expressway declared open
February 23, 2020 04:09 pm
The Matara-Hambantota section of the Southern Expressway was vested with the public a short while ago.
The newly constructed extension was ceremoniously declared open by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.
With the opening of this new section, the total length of the Southern Expressway becomes 222 kilometers and the longest expressway in the country.
This also enables direct travel from Colombo to Hambantota on the expressway. This will also facilitate travel to Kataragama from Colombo within 3 and a half hours. The Southern Expressway links the Mattala Airport and Hambantota Harbour to the Commercial Capital, Colombo.
The Southern Expressway from Matara to Hambantota is constructed under four phases: Matara - Beliatta, Beliatta - Barawakumbuka, Barawakumbuka - Andarawewa and Andarawewa - Mattala.
The construction of this new section has cost the government Rs 169 billion, according to President’s Media Division.
The existing Matara-Godagama entry point on the Expressway will no longer function and a new entry point will be added at Palatuwana.
Six interchanges will be established between Matara to Hambantota, six interchanges have been established at Aparekka, Beliatta, Kasagala, Angunakolapelessa, Barawakumbuka, and Sooriyawewa.
After opening the road near Godagama, Palatuwa interchange, the President and Prime Minister traveled on the Southern Expressway from Palatuwa to Barawakumbuka.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa before attending the opening ceremony visited the Palatuwa Bhaudhyodaya Maha Viharaya and engaged in the religious observances.
The President and the Prime Minister were warmly greeted by the general public as they passed interchanges.
The Maha Sangha including the Chief Incumbent of the Temple Ven. Gatamanne Gunananda Thera invoked blessings on the President and the Prime Minister.
Ministers including Minister Chamal Rajapaksa and Minister Johnston Fernando, Members of Parliament including Namal Rajapaksa and D.V. Chanaka, public servants and a large number of people participated in this occasion.