The preliminary work on the first phase of the proposed Northern Expressway from Enderamulla to Ambepussa will begin before the end of this year.
Ports and Highways Project Minister Nirmala Kothalawala said the first phase of the project from Enderamulla to Ambepussa will have six lanes.
He said that the construction of the first phase is expected to cost US $ one billion. The proposed Enderamulla-Ambepussa stretch of the Expressway will be constructed for the most part parallel to the railway line, paddy, marshy and uncultivated areas. Only a few populated areas would be affected by the project.
The Expressway will start from the newly proposed interchange of the Outer Circular Highway near the Enderamulla railway station and it will go through Horape, Ragama, Walpola, Batuwatte, Bulugahagoda, Ganemulla, Yagoda, Gampaha, Daraluwa, Bemmulla, Magalegoda, Heendeniya, Veyangoda, Wadurawa, Keenawala, Pallewela, Ganegoda, Mirigama and Bothale. The 52.8 km Enderamulla-Ambespussa stretch will have five interchanges in Enderanulla, Gampaha, Veyangoda, Meerigama and Ambepussa, 50 overpasses and 30 underpasses.
For the most part, the stretch from Enderamulla to Ambepussa will be on the Attanagalu Oya flood plain in the Gampaha district in the Western Province. In order to address environmental and social issues, most of sections of this alignment will be elevated (viaduct). This will drastically reduce environmental and social negative impact due to this Expressway.
He said the government has appointed the SMEC International (Pvt) Ltd to carry out a feasibility study and environmental impact assessments for the project and studies are in progress now. Meanwhile, the ground surveying and geo - technical investigation have been planned to be completed by end of this year. Preliminary process for the land acquisition have just commenced.
Under normal circumstances, it will take a minimum of 18 months to complete process. In order to expedite this process, discussions are being carried out with relevant authorities to introduce a new compensation package for the affected parties.
Hence, the land acquisition is to be completed by the end of December this year.