Colombo April 29, 2011 -- The World Bank has signed an agreement with the Government of Sri Lanka today to provide US$100 million in additional financing for the Sri Lanka Road Sector Assistance Project to support the Government of Sri Lanka to continue creating an efficient national road system and lower transportation costs to maximize opportunities and growth. This project will improve connectivity to the Northern and Eastern Provinces and assist the Government of Sri Lanka to accelerate and reap the benefits from the cessation of the conflict.
This assistance is being provided to improve and upgrade 134 km on the East-West corridor of the A6 from Ambepussa to Dambulla and Kanthale to Trincomalee in two phases. The funding is provided as additional financing to the original project which has already improved and completed over 620 km of national roads spread across eight provinces. The project aims to provide funding for maintenance of the existing national road network through the Road Maintenance Trust Fund and complement the funding currently being received from the consolidated fund. A major focus of the project is also to strengthen the processes and implement a strategy within the Road Maintenance Trust Fund which will enable the Road Development Authority (RDA) retain the improved network in a maintainable condition. The project will also support the Government’s strategy and action plan on Road Safety.
The project has also been designed based on the experiences from the completed parent project with focus on the empowerment of the RDA. Within this context, the engineering designs on the project have been completed by the RDA themselves supported by an independent review. The project is also piloting the supervision of the civil works to be carried out by the RDA on the Kanthale-Trincomalee section. All of the preparatory work on the project has been carried out by various divisions of the RDA without assistance from consultants.
Through the process of advance procurement carried out in the project, the contracts for the phase 1 (Kanthale – Trincomalee) are expected to be awarded in early May this year and completed by August 2012. The phase 2 of the project is expected to commence towards the end of this year.
The Road Sector Assistance Project follows a series of support that have been designed to improve Sri Lanka’s road system working in coordination with the Japan Agency for International Cooperation (JICA) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as outlined in the National Road Sector Master Plan.
The credit from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessionary lending arm, carries a 0.75 percent service fee, a 10-year grace period, and a maturity of 20 years.
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