The Asian Development Bank has approved loans of $154.4m for Sri Lanka’s $173m northern road connectivity project.

The project is expected to rehabilitate 140km of provincial roads and includes the surfacing and widening of around 170km of national roads in the conflict-affected northern region.

The move is intended to help reduce travel time and costs to enable better movement of traffic between the north and south.

The bank will also provide a technical assistance grant of $500,000 to support agencies that manage and maintain the road networks in the country.

The government will also provide $18.6m of assistance for the project, which is scheduled to be completed by June 2015.