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The Colombo Outer Circular Expressway (also known as the Outer Circular Highway(OCH), Colombo Inter-provincial Orbital Router or the Arthur C. Clarke Expressway[2]) is a highway in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It was opened in sections, with the latest one between Kaduwela and Kadawatha having been opened on 17 September 2015.[3][4] The 29 km (18 mi) long outer circular road network links the Colombo - Matara Expressway with Colombo - Katunayake Expressway and the proposed Colombo - Kandy Expressway and will provide an orbital beltway to bypass the city of Colombo and reduce traffic congestion. The project is funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) [5] The expressway is named "Arthur C. Clark Expressway" in honor of Arthur C. Clarke, a famous science fiction writer and futurist who lived in Sri Lanka from 1956 to his death in 2008.

Outer Circular Expressway shield

Outer Circular Expressway
Arthur C. Clarke Expressway
Route information
Maintained by the Road Development Authority
Length29 km (18 mi)
Major junctions
Beltway around Colombo
North endKerawalapitiya - connect with  E03  Colombo - Katunayake Expressway (under construction)
 Interchange 2 → Mattumagala
Interchange 3 →Kadawatha
Interchange 4 → Kaduwela
Interchange 5 → Athurugiriya [1]
South endKottawa, Colombo - Start of  E01  Colombo - Matara Expressway
Highway system
Expressways of Sri Lanka



The pre-feasibility study was carried out in 1992, five alternative traces have been studied.In 1999 a Feasibility Study was carried out under grant aid assistance from government of Japan. After the Environmental Impact Assessment was conducted the project approval was obtained from Central Environmental Authority for the section from Kerawelapitiya to Kottawa for a length of 28 km.Detailed Design Study for this 28 km stretch was commenced in July 2001 under a grant aid assistance from Government of Japan. Basic Design of the project has been carried out.[6]

The project was delayed in November 2001 due to protests by residents in the area and the government decided to resettle them in different lands in the same area away from the planned highway.[6]

Construction of the road commenced in October, 2009 and it is projected that the project will take at least eight years to complete. Access will be provided to all "A" class roads via interchanges. The highway will have an operational speed limit of 100 km/h and is to be built with four lanes and provisions to upgrade the road for six lanes of traffic.[7]


Construction of the Colombo Outer Circular road will be carried out in three phases: Phase 1 - an 11.0 km section from Kottawa to Kaduwela; Phase 2 - an 8.9 km section from Kaduwela to Kadawatha; and Phase 3 - a 9.3 km section from Kadawatha to Kerawelapitiya. Construction of the road commenced in October 2009 and is predicted that it will be completed in September 2017. The expressway will be Sri Lanka's costliest and most expensive road, estimated at US$57 million per km[8]

In January 2013, Road Development Authority said that there will be an extra interchange in Athurugiriya with the intention of accommodating projected traffic from a fast developing area.[9]

Phase oneEdit

The construction of first stage from Kottawa to Kaduwela, a length of 11 km, was completed at a cost of Rs. 27 billion in early 2014.[10] It will be vested with the public on 8 March 2014.[7][11]

Phase twoEdit

Construction of the second stage of the project from Kaduwela to Kadawatha, a length of 9.8 km, began on 18 February 2012.[7] Its expected that phase two will be completed by January 2015, at an estimated cost of Rs. 49 billion.[7]

The second phase is scheduled to be opened on 20 June 2015 and will form a major connection between Colombo and Kadawatha and a link to the Northern Expressway which will begin construction in July, thereafter connecting the capital with the major tourism cities: Kandy, Kurunegala and Dambulla.

Phase threeEdit

In January 2013, the third phase construction contract of this project from Kadawatha to Kerawalapitiya (length of 9.2 km) was awarded to China Metallurgical Group Corporation Limited by the Cabinet of Sri Lanka for a value of Rs. 66.69 billion.[12]


Kottawa Interchange

At Kottawa interchange the OCE will be connected to High Level road and the Colombo - Matara Expressway and at Athurugiriya it will be connected the Malabe - Athurugiriya road and later it will be connected to the proposed high elevated road to be constructed from Orugodawatta to Pore - Athurugiriya.

At Kaduwela interchange the OCE will be connected to Low Level road while at Kadawatha it will be connected to present Kandy road and to the proposed Kandy express way and the Northern highway.

There will connecting roads at Mattumagala connect the OCE to Colombo - Katunayake Expressway at Kerawalapitiya to connect the OCE with the Katunayake express way.[1]

Interchange Connections
Kerawalapitiya  E03  Colombo - Katunayake Expressway
Mattumagala Negombo Road
Kadawatha Colombo-Kandy Road
Proposed Colombo-Kandy / Northern Expressway
Kaduwela Low Level Road
Peliyagoda-Mudungoda Road (New Kandy Road)
Athurugiriya Malabe-Athurugiriya Road
Proposed elevated way from Orugodawatta to Athurugiriya
Kottawa High Level road
 E01  Southern Expressway

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Wijayapala, Ranil (3 March 2013). "Work on Outer Circular Highway to be completed year-end". Sunday Observer. Archived from the original on 10 March 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
  2. ^ Guruge, Hemanthi (16 August 2011). "A Speedy and safe journey to Galle". Daily News. Archived from the original on 21 October 2012. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
  3. ^ "Section of Colombo Outer Circular Expressway to open Sept 17". LBO. 15 September 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  4. ^ "Outer Circular Highway from Kaduwela to Kadawatha to be opened".
  5. ^ "Project to build a Beltway around Sri Lanka Capital given to Chinese Company". Colombo Page. 27 August 2009. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
  6. ^ a b "Spillburg Holdings Private Limited". Archived from the original on 2015-08-05. Retrieved 2015-09-18.
  7. ^ a b c d "Outer Circular Highway". Road Development Authority (Sri Lanka). Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
  8. ^ "Colombo Outer Circular Highway given to Chinese Company". Global Tamil News. 1 February 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
  9. ^ "Highway circling Sri Lanka's Capital gets extra Interchange". Lanka Business Online. Archived from the original on 21 January 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
  10. ^ "New outer circular highway opens". Colombo Gazette. 8 March 2014. Archived from the original on 12 March 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  11. ^ Sirimane, Shirajiv (24 June 2012). "Road network to be strengthened". Sunday Observer. Archived from the original on 30 June 2012. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
  12. ^ "Sri Lanka awards a Road Building Contract to Chinese Firm". News 360 Pvt. 1 February 2013. Archived from the original on 4 February 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2013.

External linksEdit