CKE expressway

Colombo-Katunayake Expressway (CKE) is a high-speed road link between the city of Colombo and Katunayake in Srilanka.

It is 25.8km long connecting the New Kelani Bridge to the International Airport of Katunayake.

The expressway construction was started in August 2009 and opened to traffic in October 2013. It includes 42 bridges and 100 culverts along the route.

The new expressway facilitates easier services for the increasing traffic and thus helps to reduce traffic congestion. It has also cut travel times between Colombo and Katunayake by 20 minutes.

The $292m project was financed through a $248.2m loan provided by the Export-Import (Exim) Bank of China. The remaining $45m was provided by the Sri Lankan Government.

Colombo-Katunayake expressway history

"The new expressway facilitates easier services for the increasing traffic and thus helps to reduce traffic congestion."

Sri Lanka is one of the fastest growing nations in the world, but poor transportation facilities have become a major problem to the growth of the country, thus affecting economic development.

The Sri Lankan Government has undertaken a number of transportation projects to improve the country’s transportation network.

Some of the projects include the Outer Circular Highway (OCH), Southern Expressway (SCH) and Katunayake – Padeniya – Anuradhapura (KPA) highway.

The Southern highway was opened to the public in November 2011 and is 126km long.

The CKE project was initially proposed in 1967 but postponed due to political and economical reasons.

The project attained attention during the Mahindana Chintana programme of improving road transport facilities and was expedited since 2008.

Colombo-Katunayake expressway (CKE) design and construction

The expressway is divided into two sections. Section one consists of six lanes and is 33.5m wide.

"The Sri Lankan Government has undertaken a number of transportation projects to improve the country’s transportation network."

It runs from New Kelani Bridge to Peliyagoda. The other section has four lanes connecting Peliyagoda to Katunayake, and is 26m wide.

The expressway has five interchanges, which include New Kalani Bridge Interchange, Peliyagoda Interchange, Kerawalapitiya Interchange, Ja Ela Interchange, and Katunayake Interchange. It is connected to the Outer Circular Highway (OCH) via the Kerawalapitiya Interchange.

The Outer Circular Highway (OCH) is another major road expansion project of Sri Lanka. The CKE is also connected to the Colombo-Kandy highway and the Kottawa-Galle highway.

The CKE includes two viaducts, one at Hunupitiya and another at Katunayake. The Hunupitiya viaduct is 480m long, while the Katunayake viaduct is 800m long.

The expressway is designed to allow a speed limit of 80kmph to 100kmph.

The road embankments were filled by using sea sand. Soft ground treatment techniques were implemented for poor ground conditions.

Contractors involved with Sri Lanka’s road project

The China Metallurgical Group Corporation (MCC) executed the project as per an agreement signed with the Government of Sri Lanka in August 2008.

SMEC Australia provided design review, construction supervision and infrastructure services for the project.

CML-MTD Construction, a joint venture of CML Construction (formerly known as Carsons Construction) and MTD Construction received a subcontract for the construction of the expressway in 2010. The main subcontractor for the project was Nem Construction.

Engineering Consultant (ENGCL) was appointed as the project consultant for the CKE project.


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