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Sri Lanka’s first motorway in the South

President Mahinda Rajapakse unveiled Sri Lanka’s first motorway on Sunday, linking Colombo to the Southern city of Galle.

Rajapakse hailed the construction a "revolution" and declared,

"Separatist tendencies will fade away when we have better road connectivity."

He went on to say that the expressway would be further extended to the Mattala International Airport and reach his hometown of Hambantota.

While Rajapakse claimed that it was constructed “in line with the best global practices”, the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Sri Lanka complained that all the lanes ae narrower than the international norm, and the breakdown lane is considerably narrower (1.75m as opposed to 2.5m), which means the door on the driver's side cannot be opened once the car has stopped.

The 96-kilometre (60-mile) four-lane road cost $700 million to build, three times over the original budget.

Sri Lanka financed the project by borrowing $178 million from the Asian Development Bank and sought $317 million from the Japan International Cooperation Agency, after initially facing funding shortfalls. The road was built by Chinese and Japanese constructors.

The work has been completed three years behind schedule and had several problems, with two interlinking bridges collapsing, killing a pedestrian during the construction.

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