Access Engineering PLC (AEL) started work on the flyover project in Slave Island – Colombo, after receiving official blessings from Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa via a virtual ceremony on 7 June. AEL, a pioneer in the flyover construction in Sri Lanka, will build a flyover connecting Baladaksha Mawatha and the Chittampalam A. Gardiner Mawatha, going over the railway track and Beira Lake in Slave Island.
Slave Island is a very busy commercial area with many Government offices, restaurants, hospitals, corporate offices, cinemas, religious places, and residencies. Further, the Slave Island area has become the centre of real estate development projects in Colombo with many recent iconic development projects, namely Colombo Waterfront Integrated Resort, ITC Colombo One, Shangri La, Destiny Mall and Residency, and Tata Housing. The road network through the Slave Island area plays a vital role in connecting the southern part of the Colombo city with the economic hub of Colombo (Fort and Pettah areas), and is highly congested during peak hours serving the traffic inwards and outwards.
Further, the Coastal Line, one of the major railway lines, runs through Slave Island with two level crossings on Justice Akbar Mawatha (nearby Kompannya Veediya Railway station) and Uttarananda Mawatha. Due to the rail traffic, there are 100 gate closures per day, with an estimated loss of time of more than three hours per day, per level crossing.
The Road Development Authority (RDA) has identified that traffic congestion in the area could be eased off by providing a connecting road with three flyovers in Slave Island, one which AEL has been commissioned to construct.
The project, which was initiated as a solution to the situation at hand, involves an erection of a 360 metre-long steel flyover comprised of two 3.5 metre-wide lanes carriageway for one-way traffic and a 2 metre-wide two-way pedestrian path. The flyover will be built on pile foundations with a six-span steel super structure.
AEL has joined hands with Spanish Engineering Company Centunion S.A., which handles the super structure designs and provides consultancy services for the project, while fellow subcontractor Master Hellie’s Engineering Consultants Ltd. oversees geometrical designs.