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The Salient Features of Colombo-Katunayake Expressway


The long felt need of a high mobility link between the Bandaranaike International Airport and the capital of this country has now been realized with the opening of Colombo - Katunayake Expressway to public on 27th of October 2013 by his Excellency the president Hon. Mahinda Rajapakse. There was a ceremony and a public rally held at Ja-ela after the inauguration ceremonies held at Peliyagoda and Katunayake with the participation of special guests, invitees and Government officials. Now, we are able to witness the successful completion of long awaited expressway passing through the open land of Muthurajawela marshes and the Negombo lagoon giving a glimpse of natural beauty of this country. The CKE will reduce the travel time between Peliyagoda and Katunayake to 20 minutes from the earlier time of 1.5 hours using Peliyagoda-Puttalam road (A003). The quick travel between the Bandaranaike International Airport and the capital of the country with enhanced safety will surely help to boost the country’s economy in addition to providing pleasant travel to the road users.

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The idea of developing a high speed link between Colombo and Katunayake was first established in early 1980s to serve rapidly expanding industrial areas in the region and tourism. During the last two decades, several alternative routes were studied before finalizing the trace through Peliyagoda, Mabole and Muthurajawela marshes, which caused minimum inconvenience to the public and reduced enormous land acquisition costs by avoiding densely populated areas. After introducing a few amendments to the proposed trace, approval of the Central Environmental Authority was obtained for the 25.8km long expressway. Subsequently, this trace was finalized from the new Kelani Bridge/Bandaranayake round-about Peliyagoda to the Bandaranaike International Airport Katunayake and decided to commence construction.

Design Features

Colombo – Katunayake Expressway (CKE) is a 4-lane User-fee levying Expressway with a designed speed of 100kmph. It consists of three interchanges, namely Peliyagoda, Jaela and Katunayake. It is expected to connect the CKE to the proposed Outer Circular Highway (OCH) at Kerawalapitiya in the future. The Expressway has been constructed according to the international standards to ensure the safety of all road users and emphasis has been given to increase the mental and physical comfort of passengers and drivers.

User Fee levying system

The entry point to the highway is close to the new Kelaniya bridge. However, the User-fee levying Expressway begins at Peliyagoda interchange about 1.8km after new Kelaniya bridge. Therefore, the vehicles that are permitted to use the Expressway can enter at new Kelaniya bridge entry point and those who want to use CKE can proceed through User-fee station of Peliyagoda interchange and others can exit to Colombo-Kandy road or Peliyagoda-Puttalam road via this interchange by-passing the User-fee station. The motorists who enter from Peliyagoda interchange will not be issued an entry ticket and have to pay the use-fee before exit at Katunayake. Those who enter from the interchange at Ja-Ela, would be issued an entry ticket and have to pay accordingly at the end of the journey either at Peliyagoda or at Katunayake. On the other hand, motorists entering from Katunayake will not be issued an entry ticket but have to pay at the end of the journey at Peliyagoda or Ja-Ela. This is to reduce delays in the issuance of tickets.

User Fee Rates of Colombo - Katunayake Expressway (CKE)

The most important benefit of the Project is to facilitate high speed passenger and freight movement which will lead to permit rapid industrial expansion in the area, boost tourism industry, enhance employment opportunities, reduce traffic on Colombo-Pattalam road (A003), encourage outward migration of people living under congested conditions in  and around Colombo.

As the CKE is an important segment of much awaited north-south link, when the construction of Outer Circular Highway (OCH) from Kottawa to Kerawalapitiya is completed the much awaited north-south connection will be established enabling the usurers of CKE to reach southern parts of the country through Expressway Network. In turn it will contribute to achieve overall Development objectives of the country through the Expressway Network. Ultimately the Expressway Network would contribute to harness the expected economic benefits to the country with shorter travel times and reduced vehicle operating costs.

Project Details:
Date of commencement
18 Aug. 2009
Road Length
25.8 km
Number of Lanes
New Kelani Bridge to Peliyagoda Interchange: 6 Lane
Peliyagoda Interchange to Katunayake: 4 Lane
Speed Limit
80 km/h and 100 km/h
Travel Time
20 Minutes (Peliyagoda to Katunayake)

Project Roads


Length (km)

Width (m)

Main Trace



Link Roads
For Interchanges






Frontage Road at






Total Cost       =  USD  352.17  Mn


Total Cost Includes

  • 6 lane expressway for a length of 2 km
  • 4 lane expressway for a length of 23.8 km
  • Construction of 4 lane 1.28 km long Viaduct 
  • Construction of 42 Nos Bridges , Over passes and underpasses
  • Construction of 110 Nos Large size Box Culverts
  • Soft ground Treatment of 90%  length of the road
  • Provision of Communication, Monitoring & Tolling system covering the entire length
  • Installation of Electronic Toll System
  • Road lighting for entire road length
  • Construction of Toll booths and Toll Plazas
  • Construction of Cement mixed road base where the life span is 40 years
  • All Contractual claims made by the contractor
  • Landscaping and planting of trees along the road side



The Opening Ceremony on 27th October 2013
Colombo - Katunayake Expressway (E01)
Entry Point of CKE
Access Road Merging with CKE
Toll Gates
General Cross Section of Expressway
Emergency Telephones
Growing Plants at the Centre
Ja-ela Interchange
Expressway Control Centre
Negombo Lagoon at Left
Exit to Peliyagoda - Puttalam Road (A003)
Road Markings to Expressway Safety
Noice Barrier at Residential Areas
Part of Drainage System
Exit Road at Airport Junction at Peliyagoda - Puttalam (A003) Road
CKE Crossing the Peliyagoda - Puttalam (A003) Road
Last Modified Date : 20-Dec-2014 9:17 AM