Project Name
Southern Road Connectivity Project
Project Number
Country / Economy
  • Sri Lanka
Project Status
Project Type / Modality of Assistance
  • Loan
Source of Funding / Amount
Loan 3027-SRI: Southern Road Connectivity Project
Source Amount
Ordinary capital resources US$ 70.00 million
Loan 3028-SRI: Southern Road Connectivity Project
Source Amount
Asian Development Fund US$ 5.00 million
Strategic Agendas
  • Environmentally sustainable growth
  • Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change
  • Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
  • Private sector development
Sector / Subsector
  • Transport / Road transport (non-urban)

Effective gender mainstreaming
ADB and the Government of Sri Lanka are working together to help people and freight move more easily and efficiently between the country's southern region and the commercial capital of Colombo. The Southern Road Connectivity Project is supporting the government's plans for an integrated road network that will accelerate economic growth, improve safety, and reduce travel time and cost. The project is supporting the improvement of 33.5 kilometers of national highways that link to three interchanges on the Southern Expressway. The project is also helping Sri Lanka's Road Development Authority develop a long-term expressway plan, carry out a feasibility study for 250 kilometers of national highways, and undertake detailed engineering for about 200 kilometers of national highways. About 1.1 million residents in the immediate area are expected to benefit from the project as well as another 4.6 million more living in the Colombo, Kalutara, and Galle districts served by the Southern Expressway.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
Sri Lanka's strategic location at the crossroads of regional maritime trading routes has contributed to its strong growth in recent years. To fully utilize the country's strategic location, international transport hubs are being developed in the commercial capital and port city of Colombo and in the southern port area of Hambantota. As a result, there is a need to efficiently move people and goods between the two areas. Estimates suggest road capacity in Sri Lanka will need to be doubled every eight to 10 years to meet rising demand. Easing congestion on access routes to the country's South Expressway will boost industrial development as supply sources and markets outside the region become more accessible.

Efficient road transport in the southern region

Project Outcome

Description of Outcome

Improved road connectivity between the expressway network and the local transport network in south region

Progress Toward Outcome
As of 30 November 2022, under L3027, all five civil works are completed and PBM works are ongoing (under Gov financing). Accordingly this loan was closed on 30 June 2022. Loan winding up period is in progress. Works under L3028 were successfully delivered and the loan was financially closed effective of 18 May 2020.

Implementation Progress

Description of Project Outputs

Improved capacity of national highways linking the expressway network in the southern region

Enhanced capacity of RDA in planning expressway connectivity improvement and in ensuring implementation readiness

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

Output-1: Improved National Highways:

- All five civil works packages construction works completed. Performance-Based Maintenance is in progress.

- Loan closed by 30 June 2022 and the loan winding up period to end by 31 December 2022.

- RDA and ADB consider that Contractors have taken adequate steps to increase female participation in the workforce, but due to cultural, labour market, and urban set-up context, women seem reluctant to take up employment opportunities in the road construction sector, especially in Colombo and its suburbs.

Output-2: Capacity Enhancement of RDA:

- ECIP consultant developed a long-term expressway connectivity improvement plan, including an implementation program and detailed design of 250 km priority roads.

- Project activities financed under ADB financing were completed and the respective loan (L3028) was closed by 30 June 2019. The financial closeout was effective on 18 May 2020.

Geographical Location
Homagama, Kirilapone, Matugama, Piliyandala, Pokunuwita, Welipenna West

Safeguard Categories

Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples

Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects

Environmental Aspects
The project scope includes improvement of existing roads to two-lane or four-lane standard. The roads are located in urban, suburban, and agricultural areas for most of their lengths with minimal forests or natural habitat areas. None fall within protected or environmentally sensitive areas. The project is therefore classified category B in accordance with the ADB Safeguard Policy Statement. Road-specific initial environmental examination reports, including environmental management plans, have been prepared and disclosed on the ADB website. Anticipated impacts under the project, which are mostly restricted to the construction stage, comprise typical impacts associated with road construction, such as generation of dust, noise, and construction waste; temporary disruption of traffic; soil erosion from exposed surfaces; siltation of water bodies; and drainage issues. These can be managed by adopting suitable mitigation measures described in the initial environmental examination and road-specific environmental management plans and monitored through the environmental monitoring plan. Both environmental management and monitoring plans, along with specific clearance requirements of the Central Environmental Authority for each road, will be included into the bidding documents for civil works. Local communities and relevant stakeholders have been consulted during project preparation, and a grievance redress mechanism has been established to address concerns during project implementation. Financial and human resources necessary for redressing grievances will be covered under the project. The project management units under RDA are responsible for ensuring proper implementation of the environmental management and monitoring plans. The Environmental and Social Division under RDA will provide technical guidance and support to the project management unit in monitoring environmental compliance by the contractors. Additional support for day-to-day, site-level monitoring and reporting will be provided by the supervision consultant's team, which includes an environmental specialist. Any updates to the environmental management plan (if required) will be made by the environmental specialist under the supervision consultants and reviewed and approved by the Environmental and Social Division. Annual environmental monitoring reports will be prepared and submitted to ADB for disclosure on the ADB website in accordance with the ADB Safeguard Policy Statement. An initial coordination cum training workshop will be organized by the project management units with technical support from the Environmental and Social Division. This will be conducted for the contractors and supervision consultants before commencing construction works in order to agree on modalities for implementing the environmental management and monitoring plans and to carry out necessary monitoring and reporting activities.
Involuntary Resettlement
The project is categorized as category A in accordance with ADB's Safeguard Policy Statement (2009). All five project roads will be widened, which will create significant impact. Due to the linear nature of that impact, the majority of affected households will lose not more than 10% of their productive assets. Some commercial structures will need to be demolished since various stretches of the project roads traverse urban areas. Impact has been mitigated where possible by reducing the width of the shoulder. Three resettlement plans have been prepared for anticipated land acquisitions, and two due diligence processes regarding land acquisition have been undertaken to verify previous acquisitions by the government. All these have been completed in accordance with government regulations. For the three roads requiring land acquisition, it is estimated that 2,188 households including 9,641 persons will be affected. About 488 households comprising approximately 2,150 persons will experience significant impact. Assistance will be in place to restore livelihoods to the same or better conditions compared with livelihood conditions at the pre-project level. For the two roads where the government has already acquired land, due diligence identified 15 households due interest payments. The government has allocated funds and these payments will be made prior to project approval. Civil works may proceed after compensation and assistance have been fully paid. Resettlement plans were prepared and disclosed on ADB website in accordance with ADB's Safeguard Policy Statement (2009), the Government of Sri Lanka's Land Acquisition Act of 1950, and the National Involuntary Resettlement Policy introduced in 2001. The project management unit has an experienced team implementing the resettlement plans and will be supported by the RDA's Environment and Social Division.
Indigenous Peoples
The project is not expected to have impacts on indigenous peoples and is therefore designated Category C. Based on the poverty and social assessment, there are no indigenous people or communities present in the project influence area. Communities affected by the subprojects will be Sinhalese, Muslims, and Tamil. Therefore, no indigenous peoples plan or indigenous people development framework has been prepared. However, special provisions have been made under the RPs to address indigenous people impacts.In case of any adverse impacts if identified during implementation of the subproject on indigenous people, the RDA will ensure that the Indigenous peoples plan (IPP) is prepared in accordance with the Safeguard Policy Statement 2009 and the same is further approved by ADB before award of related civil works contract and implemented before commencement of the relevant section of the civil works contract as applicable. Any update of IPP during implementation shall follow requirements similar to the RPs as described for involuntary resettlement.

Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation

During Project Design
Poor and affected persons impacted by land acquisition are consulted and surveyed. Additional assistance and provisions such as livelihood rehabilitation have been outlined in Resettlement Plans.
During Project Implementation
Once a year, RDA will hold one-day workshop to share information on project progress, issues, lessons learned, and performance improvement measures if appropriate. Representation will include members of the national steering committee and provincial coordinating committee.Various information regarding the Project, including scope, general progress status, beneficiaries, invitation for bid, and consultant recruitment notices, will be provided to the general public. The information will be made available and updated through the official websites of RDA.

Business Opportunities

Consulting Services

All consultants were recruited according to ADB's Guidelines on the Use of Consultants (2013, as amended from time to time). The terms of reference for all consulting services are detailed in the Project Administration Manual.

To facilitate project management and implementation, an international firm, as project implementation consultant (PIC), was recruited. The PIC assumed the role of the "Engineer" and supervises respective civil works and provides on-the-job training to counterpart staff. An estimated 662 person-months (54 international, 608 national) of consulting services were required. The consulting firm was engaged using the quality- and cost-based selection (QCBS) method with a weighting of 90% technical and 10% financial as the nature of the assignment requires priority consideration for quality.

To develop the expressway connectivity improvement plan (ECIP), an international firm was recruited. An estimated 297 person-months (58 international, 239 national) of consulting services were required. The consulting firm was engaged using the QCBS method with a weighting of 90% technical and 10% financial as the nature of the assignment requires priority consideration for quality.

In addition to the development of the ECIP, individual consultants were recruited (i) to conduct studies for connecting Battaramulla Link with the new Kelany Bridge and the Port Acess Link as part of the expressway connectivity program for Colombo Metropolitan area (e-connect); (ii) to strengthen the geometric designs, review the detail structural designs and integrate/update the economic analysis for Package I-Gampaha (Meerigama) to Kurunegala including Ambepussa link section of the Central Expressway Project with a link to Kandy; and (iii) to assist RDA in assessment of overall road network including expressways with future demands and identify roads linking expressways and national highways.


All procurement of goods and works will be undertaken in accordance with ADB's Procurement Guidelines (2013, as amended from time to time).

The government will inform ADB on the changes made to the national procurement regulations if any and carry out a joint review of the NCB Annex if necessary. The procurement plan should be updated whenever change in the procurement arrangements and/or the NCB Annex is required and agreed.

An 18-month procurement plan indicating threshold and review procedures, goods, works, and consulting service contract packages and national competitive bidding guidelines is in Procurement Plan.


Responsible ADB Officer
Sinclair, Nirojan Donald
Responsible ADB Department
South Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division
Sri Lanka Resident Mission (SLRM)
Executing Agencies
Ministry of Highways


Concept Clearance
29 May 2013
Fact Finding
06 May 2013 to 10 May 2013
26 Jun 2013
23 Sep 2013
Last Review Mission
Last PDS Update
12 Dec 2022


Loan 3027-SRI

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
23 Sep 2013 27 May 2014 22 Aug 2014 30 Jun 2019 30 Jun 2022 27 Jan 2023
Financing Plan
  Total (Amount in US$ million)
Project Cost 95.00
ADB 70.00
Counterpart 25.00
Cofinancing 0.00
Loan Utilization
  Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Cumulative Contract Awards 15 Dec 2023 68.68 0.00 100%
Cumulative Disbursements 15 Dec 2023 68.68 0.00 100%

Loan 3028-SRI

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
23 Sep 2013 27 May 2014 22 Aug 2014 30 Jun 2019 - 18 May 2020
Financing Plan
  Total (Amount in US$ million)
Project Cost 5.00
ADB 5.00
Counterpart 0.00
Cofinancing 0.00
Loan Utilization
  Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Cumulative Contract Awards 15 Dec 2023 4.56 0.00 100%
Cumulative Disbursements 15 Dec 2023 4.56 0.00 100%
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