Galle Road, which runs parallel to the coastline, is the main feeder channel for vehicular traffic from the South into Colombo city’s commercial spine. The road is a route for a multitude of economic activities such as industries, tourism, and retail, and it accommodated the needs of the residents living alongside it. R.A. De Mel Mawatha, also known as ‘Duplication Road’, runs parallel to the Galle Road and is experiencing increasing commercial developments and traffic flows.
The two roads account for a major share of vehicular and pedestrian traffic entering and exiting the city on a daily basis, especially during peak hours, and are the key facilitators of Colombo’s economic development. The two roads also support the recreational, social and cultural needs of the city through facilitation of essential conveniences and providing access to services and public spaces. Despite their important role as vital spines for city life, they are in poor condition and lack sidewalks.
Therefore, the Galle Road and R.A. De Mel Mawatha were identified by the national and city authorities for extensive upgrading in order to contribute to the higher level objective of transforming Colombo into a world-class capital. This rehabilitation project is a pilot project supported by the World Bank, and it is a sub-project under the Metro Colombo Urban Development Project (MCUDP). This demonstration project builds upon the experiences implementating of a section of the Galle Road, from Bambalapitiya to Kollupitiya, under the management of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC).