Metro Colombo Urban Development Project


Sri Lanka needs competitive and dynamic cities to reach its aspiration of becoming an upper-middle income economy and a global hub. With the end of civil unrest, the country is on a path of rapid urbanization. The Metro Colombo Region is the international gateway to Sri Lanka and houses most of the country's important institutions and services and manufacturing facilities. Therefore, there is a need to tap into the competitive advantages of the Metro Colombo Region to accelerate growth. The Metro Colombo Urban Development Project (MCUDP) is a key response to this need.

Development-Oriented Aim

The aim of the MCUDP is to complement the ongoing urban regeneration programs of the Government of Sri Lanka by reducing the physical and socioeconomic impacts of flooding in the Metro Colombo Region and improving priority local infrastructure and services. The Project area will comprise four urban local authorities: the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), Dehiwela-Mount Lavinia Municipal Council (DMLMC), Sri Jayawardenapura-Kotte Municipal Council (SJ-KMC), and Kolonnawa Urban Council (KUC). The total cost of the MCUDP is US$ 223 million. It will be jointly financed by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development of the World Bank and the Government of Sri Lanka. The Project will be managed by the Project Management Unit of the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development, while implementation responsibilities rest with three Project Implementing Agencies: Sri Lanka Land Reclamation & Development Corporation (SLLRDC), Urban Development Authority (UDA), and CMC. The implementation period is 30 April 2012-30 June 2017.

Key Components

The MCUDP comprises three main components. The first component focuses on flood and drainage management and addresses the urgent issue of urban flooding, which regularly paralyzes the economy of the Metro Colombo Region with high socioeconomic costs. The second component focuses on urban development and infrastructure rehabilitation for Project Local Authorities (PLAs) the CMC, DMLMC, SJ-KMC, and KUC. It is aimed at supporting these authorities to rehabilitate and manage their drainage infrastructure and urban roads, implement selected demonstration urban improvements investments, and improve solid waste collection. It also includes targeted technical assistance for institutional strengthening and capacity building for central and local authorities. The third component consists of implementation support.

Projects Components Related to Colombo Municipal Council

Infrastructure Development

1) Town Hall Square Model Development Zone

Town Hall Square is located in close proximity to the Central Business District and the National Hospital which sees approximately 60,000 people passing through the area on a daily basis. In addition, 15 bus routes intersect close to Town Hall Square making it a point of connectivity within the city. From a historical perspective, the area has remnants of the old Garden City concept introduced during the colonial period, with many architecturally significant buildings located in the vicinity. The objective of this sub-project is to physically improve and functionally upgrade the Town Hall Square and surrounding area. Interventions include retaining the existing architectural and environmental character of the area while improving access to all public areas located within the Square. A total of 50.8 hectares will be upgraded. This will benefit the general public including commuters to the city and the residential population.

Out of the three packages, Package 1 and 2 have been awarded to the contractors and the implementation is in progress.

a) Town Hall Square Package-1

b) Roads around the Town Hall Square Package-2

c) Improvements to Vihara Maha Devi Park -Package -3 (Still in tender Stage)(Graphicle View of Vihara Maha Devi Park )

d)Graphicle view of the Town Hall once it is developed

2) Walkability Improvements in the City of Colombo

This aims at providing pedestrians with safe, clean, and convenient walkways along primary, secondary, and tertiary road networks, in order to improve access to commercial and recreational spaces such as the Beira Lake Linear Park and Town Hall Square. Activities will include (i) upgrading and/or replacement of uneven and missing sidewalks along 11 km of road network, (ii) installation of bollards along pedestrian walkways, (iii) creation of parking spaces, (iv) improvements and/or replacement of existing street lighting on 10 streets, (v) introduction of traffic signals at three selected roads, (vi) soft landscaping along pedestrian sidewalks, (vii) provision of street furniture at selected locations, (viii) improvement of storm water drainage along 1.2 km of roadway on Vauxhall Street, (ix) replacement of gullies and minor repairs to improve flow of storm water along existing drainage lines on all other streets, and (x) asphalting of 19 streets that will run parallel to sidewalks.

This includes the laying of ducts for the telecommunication services, laying of water pipes, laying of kerb lines, parking bays, street lighting, paving of foot walks, asphalt overlaying and landscaping etc;

a) Package 1 Improvements to Vauxhall Street, Vauxhall Lane, Bahiathula Lane, Police Lane, Barracks Lane, Dawson street, Kew Point Road, Morgan Road and Kew Road

b) Package 2 Improvements to M.M. Marker Mawatha, Rifle Street, Akbar Mawatha, Chitthampalam A. Gardiner Mawatha and Lotus Road

c) Package 3 Improvements to Dr. Colvin R. De Silva Mawatha, T.B. Jayah Mawatha and Kumaran Rathnam Road

3) Improvement of Public Convenience Facilities

The objective is to upgrade existing public conveniences (public toilets) at 14 selected locations in the city that will provide hygienic and convenient sanitation facilities for the general public including daily commuters, and domestic and foreign tourists. The Locations identified for implementation are Vauxall Street, Colombo 02. Galle Road, Wellawatta, Colombo 05. Galle Road, Bambalapitiya, Colombo 04. Saunders Place, School Lane Junction, Colombo 11. York Street, Colombo 01. Piyadasa Sirisena Mawatha, Colombo 10. Nagalagam Street, Colombo 14.

This includes construction of public toilets in seven locations.

Graphical Views of the proposed Public Toilets

This includes construction of public toilets in seven locations.

4) Galle Road and R.A. De Mel Mawatha (Duplication Road)

This will support rehabilitation and improvement of the level of service of two key arteries Galle Road and R.A. De Mel Mawatha (Duplication Road).The CMC has already rehabilitated the first segment of Galle Road (from Bambalapitiya to Kollupitiya). Galle Road is the main arterial road and commercial spine, which runs through the city and sees a large volume of vehicular and pedestrian traffic. The R.A. De Mel Mawatha runs parallel to Galle Road, which is gradually seeing more commercial developments. Both roads contribute toward the flow of vehicular traffic coming into and exiting the city especially during peak hours. The road segments to be rehabilitated having a total length of about 10 km.

5) Pedestrian Overhead Bridges at Kollupitiya and Bambalapitiya Intersections with Galle Road

The objective is to create safe, convenient and uninterrupted pedestrian links between crowded railway stations and two main intersections at Bambalapitiya and Kollupitiya along the Galle Road, and to facilitate ease and safety of movement between the railway stations and bus terminals along these intersections. The total length of overhead pedestrian bridges will be about 570 meters.

6) Water Front Recreational Park at Crow Island and Marine Drive Promenade

The objective is to physically improve and functionally upgrade two urban waterfront areas highly frequented by a large cross-section of the city population: (i) Crow Island Beach and (ii) Marine Drive Beach. Interventions will include the construction of entrance gate, information center and security hut, toilet facilities, parking, walkways, waterfront court, children playground, jogging track, and open green areas with seating arrangements.