Expressway construction, near Negoda
Looks like the Southern Expressway is happening. I saw them building huge 20 foot tall bunds near Kalutara. They say this will make it possible to get to Matara in one-and-a-half hours (!) and should be completed by end 2010. This will be sweet. The problem with Galle Road is that it is both a highway and the main street of every little town it passes through. This means that someone going to Galle is on the same road as a guy pushing a garbage cart a hundred meters down the lane. In Hikkaduwa drunk people are dawdling and eating roti on the side of the road. This is obviously untenable.
Being a provincial beach dweller I rarely venture off the coast (much to my shame). With an expressway one could pass through these lands at 100 clicks per hour on the way to somewhere else. These projects usually go pear-shaped and drag on forever, which is why I was surprised to see active construction. According to an old PRIU newsletter the thing is envisioned as a toll road, which I think would make sense. People can still take the Galle Road, or pay extra to get their faster and transport cargo or whatever. Dunno if this is any longer the case.
Again, these things often get messed up, but I would be a happy camper if the RDA et al manage to complete even a fraction of their road development plans within my (enjoyable) lifetime. Then if the Enviromental Agency would allow the duty-free import of hybrid/electric cars I would be entirely shape.