President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday ceremonially declared open the reconstructed picturesque 18 Bend Kandy-Mahiyangana road.
The 41-kilometer road was reconstructed at a cost of Rs. 5 billion with the financial assistance from the Asian Development Bank.
The road has been widened to 15 meters and carpeted from Udathenna to Mahiyanganaya. The government has paid Rs. 270 million as compensation to the families displaced by the widening of the road.
The road reconstructed with two lanes has cut down the travel time from an earlier 4 hours to one and half hours now.
The 18-bend road, which was constructed by the British colonial rulers in the mid-19th century as an estate supply route, is considered to provide a challenging driving experience and picturesque view. It connects Kandy to Mahiyanganaya and stretches up to Padiyathalawa.
Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Deputy Minister of Ports and Highways Nirmala Kothalawala, Chief Minister of Central Province Sarath Ekanayake, Deputy Minister of Higher Education Nandimithra Ekanayake, and ADB Country Director to Sri Lanka Mrs. Rita O'Sullivan were present at the occasion.