Following a University Of Moratuwa report, three bridges on the new Southern Expressway have been demolished and reconstructed to adhere to better safety standards. They have recommended the overhaul of twenty-eight more.
The 126 km long expressway is expected to connect Colombo and Matara in one and a half hours, bypassing the congested coastal Galle Road. There are also plans to extend the road to Sri Lanka’s second international airport in Weerawila, Hambantota. The project is funded by the Asian Development Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency. It is built partly by Chinese contractors who have previously revised cost estimates up, almost doubling them for certain sections.
The report presented by Project Director of Southern Expressway S. Mehandan showed that 28 of the 73 tested bridges needed to be completely overhauled and reinforced. This is a failure rate nearing 40%. In the 2010 Budget speech the government stated that they expected the road to be completed by 2012. This is a revision from the earlier completion date of 2010.