Onlanka News – By Janaka Alahapperuma – (Pix By : Sudath Silva)
President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared open the new Mannar Bridge and the causeway connecting the Mannar Island with the mainland, constructed by the Road Development Authority, under the supervision of the Highways & Road development Ministry.
The Japanese Government has funded Rs: 2460 million for the construction work of the bridge and the causeway with two lanes of carriageway and sidewalks. This is a part of the ‘Peace Project’ for the rehabilitation, development and welfare of the north and eastern areas of Sri Lanka. This is the only road access to the Mannar Island from the mainland and in 1990 Tamil Tigers destroyed the 70 year old bridge and later Sri Lankan army restored it with a temporary steel bailey bridge which was restricted for transportation.
The new ‘Peace Bridge’ was constructed with a span of 157.1 meters in length and 10.4 meters in width and has improved the causeway up to 3.14 km in length and 11 meters in width on the Medawachchiya-Mannar-Thalaimannar (A14) road. However people living in Mannar and the fishing community in the area will directly benefit from this new developments.
The Japanese Ambassador for Sri Lanka Mr Kunio Takahashi, many politicians and officials from Road Development Authority and the Highways & Road development Ministry were present.