The newly renovated Town Hall Square including the Viharamahadevi Park, and the rehabilitated road network in the Colombo city were vested with the public yesterday (Feb. 19).
Steps to develop these facilities were taken under the Metro Colombo Urban Development Project which is a key urban regeneration project of the MoD & UD through a concessionary loan from the World Bank.
The Metro Colombo Urban Development Project is being carried out at a cost of US$ 223 million (Rs. 29,000 million) aiming at flood reduction and retention, improving priority infrastructure and services in the Metro Colombo area.
The development of Town Hall Square has helped the city of Colombo retain its historical 'Garden City' charcter while improving access to all public areas located within the square. The more significant interventions include an overall upgrading of the Town Hall building and its extensive lawns and the three kilometer road network surrounding the historic city landmark and also the Viharamahadevi Park including the pedestrian sidewalks, street lighting, centre isles and roundabouts.
The park, the largest in the city has also had a major facelift with the new addition of cycle tracks, improved footpaths, lightning and attractively redesigned children's play area. The specially built kiddies water play will no doubt be a huge hit with the children.
The surrounding walls and gates have been removed to let free movement of people day or night. Special security arrangements have been placed to ensure public safety 24/7.
The Town hall Square development project was completed with a cost of Rs. 614 million.
Under the project, pedestrians have been provided with safe, clean and convenient walkways along 8 kilometers of city roadways. Seventeen roads have been upgraded with new asphalting, revamped sidewalks, safety boards, street lighting, traffic signals, improved storm water drains and utility ducts.
Water pipes have been laid to supply drinking water for the next five years, new electricity cables installed and overhead power lines have been converted into a underground network to ensure safety and efficiency.
City roads including Sir James Peiris Mawatha, Kumaran Ratnam Mw, T B Jayah Mw, Sir Chittambalam A Gardiner Mw, Dr. Colvin R de Silva Mw, Lotus Road, Sir Macan Makar Mw, Justice Akbar Mw, Rifle Street, Vauxhall St, Kew Rd, Vauxhall Lane, Bahiathulla Ln, Police Ln, Barracsk Ln Kew Point Rd, Morgon Rd and Dawson Street have been developed under this project.
Improvements to the roads network in the heart of the city's residential and commercial district have helped to streamline vehicular movement and reduce congestion of rush hour traffic. Traffic related incidents and road accidents have greatly been reduced due widened roads and improved and well placed road signs.