Galle Road Rehabilitation work
Posted on February 22nd, 2014

Aloysius Hettiarachchi. Colombo 07.

What I saw just yesterday on Galle Road Wellawatte prompted me to write this piece.  In late 80s a world renowned Consultant from UK ( if I remember correctly it was WS Atkins) was in charge of the rehabilitation of Galle Road and they did a splendid job by sticking to international standards and also managing the construction work well without inconveniencing the public too much.

At that time I used that road every day. I now see a substandard road without sufficient widths for the lanes and too much width for the pedestrian walkway ( at some places)  is being constructed. Once completed it will be there for many more years and users will be greatly inconvenienced and also it will be very difficult to rectify unless the GOSL is prepared to spend a lot of funds all over again. I also see the work being done in a haphazard manner working on both sides of the road at the same time. I therefore request the authorities to ask the Road Development Authority to check the adequacy of the lane widths before it is too late.

I see a similar four lane road already constructed on Ward Place, Colombo 7,  where the second lane (outer lane) constructed with insufficient width, and the walkway too wide which appears to me is with the objective of saving some existing trees. This is a nightmare for motorists at night as the lane suddenly become narrow with parked  vehicles. I also appeal to the authorities to get the opinion of the police before starting the work in urban areas as they have a better idea than some  local consultants. I wonder who is the consultant in this case . Over to you Metro Colombo Development Unit.


4 Responses to “Galle Road Rehabilitation work”

  1. dhane Says:

    End of 2013 I was in Colombo and happened to see the road development. Its good to see constructions were done but the quality & standard of the pavements are not acceptable at all. Most pavements are covered with very poor standard thin concrete slabs are already cracked even before 6 months. Specially at Lipton Square loose bricks or colour stones could be used against Police by the demonstrators without any difficulty by picking up easily. In Most countries I have seen pavements are done with concreted area of approx., 1 x 1Mt. These concreted areas are very stable & strong. After many years if necessary could be repair only effected Area.
    Main road standard & quality yet to see after few years of usage. However its advisable to do the infrastructure development maintain high standard & quality to last longer by using tax payments money.

  2. Nimal Says:

    sadly I noticed this too elsewhere. We are falling back due to our own devices. I had much flack and opposition from our utterly corrupt subcontractors when doing the Kandy’s water scheme 5 MGD dam. I was trained by a no nonsense young Danish Engineer of the company ECC.That was my first job, working daytime, studying for A levels at night.
    These corrupt contractors did a bad job, in cutting and bending MS bars that was to be for the dam and surge chamber at the bottom of the Mahawali river. They first ridiculed ne because I was only 17 years old, for telling them what to do. Shuttering and reinforce MS bars were fixed haphazardly, that could have compromised the strength of the dam. Since I was not pleased, instructed them to redo the work before concreting was done, whereby I annoyed them and they threatened my life. I was never paid for my entire 15 months’ work, to the surprise of the Danish Engineer who was incharge,where they did all the wrong things under his nose. Left the job to work with my American friend in Colombo, where we manufactured our own power looms in SL,had 3 factories, due to corrupt politics of the then UNP govt, they deported my friend and I left the country in disgust. I still notice this utterly corrupt and substandard work in my present building work for my business in SL.

  3. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    Regarding the reconstruction of Galle road and for that matter Colombo I must address the issue of Colombo 7 or Bambalapitya where the neighborhood was lined with turn of the century mansions which faced a line of massive oak trees that shaded the lanes. That entire section should have been recognized as a heritage site and preserved in situ. When I went to Sri Lanka in 2009 just when the war ended I was astonished that this jewel in Colombo had been razed to the ground and in its place were concrete tinder block monstrosities. What a shame.

    As I traveled through that city I saw the empty skeletal remains of buildings built during the era of the British empire and should have been preserved. From Colombo to Kandy the same level of wanton destruction was evident. The loss of this part of Sri Lanka’s history, the loss of revenue from foreign tourists who would come to see the majestic Colonial history, the loss of the beauty it gave that city is now gone forever… of course in the name of progress.

  4. aloy Says:

    I think your concerns are being addressed. At least I see the former colonial building including the main municipality building (the white house) being spruced up and white washed, the streets paved and cleaned. To any visitor it is a very good sight.
    However I was interested to know from where the money comes and googled World Bank website and found the following link:
    According to the info provided this is a massive project for which $320 million has been pledged by WB and $220 million already committed. A 75% is meant for flood prevention of Colombo and only 6% for Transport which I believe are for all road works that is going on (ie. Slave Island, Ward Place, Duplication Road and Galle Road). However according to a former Senior Irrigation Deputy Director they are going to enter into Guinuss book of records by Flooding Kotte (to save Colombo) and then to discharge water to sea at Panadura. If that is correct it has the hallmarks of another white elephant (like Norochchalai and Mattala). I hope it is not the case. Please read the letter of Eng. Nanayakkara at following link:

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