ADB to assist transport project feasibility studies
Sep 26, 2016 – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will help Sri Lanka prepare studies and designs for new road, railway, and port projects for the country’s transport system to support economic growth in the medium term.
“In Sri Lanka, the role of the transport sector has gradually changed from moving agricultural commodities to providing more diversified services and catering to the value-added manufacturing industry,” ADB South Asia Senior Transport Specialist Chen Chen said. “The transport network needs to better serve the towns and cities where new economic activities are being established.”
Roads and an emerging expressway network are the dominant mode of transportation in Sri Lanka, accounting for 93% of passenger transport and 96% of freight transport. The country also has a basic railway network with 10 railway lines although almost 90% of the network is single track. An improved railway transport system would complement the road transport system, both for passengers and freight.
Maritime transport is also critical to Sri Lanka.The total container volume handled by Sri Lanka’s ports has increased 108% from 2.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units in 2005 to 5.2 million twenty-foot equivalent units in 2015. The government needs to make the optimal use of the maritime transport resources in Colombo, Galle, Hambantota, Kankasanthurai, Oluvil, and Trincomalee.
The Road Development Authority will formulate an expressway development program and prepare priority projects, such as a port access road to link the Colombo port area to the highway network. The funds will also help the government to work on studies and designs for priority railway and port projects.The studies are expected to commence this 2016 and be completed by 2022