Japan will provide funds to transform Sri Lanka’s 95km southern expressway to an electronic toll collection (ETC) system.

The new system includes a touch-and-go card system and ETC to be financed by Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA), and will alleviate traffic congestion.

Toll plazas and office facilities have been built at the 11 interchanges for toll collection, which will be initially operated by a manual collection system.

The project has been jointly funded by the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which also paid for the expressway maintenance and vehicles required for operation including tow-trucks, cranes, fire engines, ambulances and police vehicles.

The new expressway has opened this month and connects the Sri Lankan capital Colombo with the southern port town of Galle allowing vehicles to travel at a speed of 100 km an hour.