|Eight lane Formula One Track To Be Built in ‘New Port City’
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|Author:||Saman [ Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:26 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Eight lane Formula One Track To Be Built in ‘New Port City’|
Eight lane Formula One Track To Be Built On Planned ‘New Port City’ Colombo
Sri Lanka would build a city in the sea which is bigger than Male, the capital of Maldives, at Galle Face Green. An eight lane F1 track will “definitely” be a part of the New Port City. The city is to be constructed on filled land taking up the area between the Southern edge of the new Colombo South Port and the Fort Lighthouse. The total area of sea reclaimed is set to be 450 acres.
Source: SL media, @ LL /04 Feb 2011
Sri Lanka would build a city in the sea which is bigger than Male, the capital of Maldives, at Galle Face Green. This would, for the third time, change the contours of the island nation.
The first time this happened was when the Ruhunu Magampura International Port was opened last November when sea water was taken in for the port. This was followed by the Colombo South Harbour development project which would add a 6.2 kilometre breakwater and reclaim over 400 acres from the sea. The Urban Development Authority (UDA) and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) are now planning to reclaim land from the sea and build a 500-acre plus port city under the Galle Face development project, which would once again change the landscape of the country. The project has already received approval for environmental issues and construction is expected to commence by the end of the year. The project is to be completed in three years.
A Formula One track is planned for the New Port City to be constructed. According to the Chairman, Ports Authority, Dr. Priyath Wickrama an eight lane F1 track will “definitely” be a part of the New Port City, he said. Formula One has strict requirements for its tracks and the Sri Lankan track, if it is to be a reality, must be carefully planned if it is to be implemented in the New Port City. Currently planners are formulating ways of fitting the track in the premises of the city whilst also allowing for maximum leeway for commercial activities. Space is also a problem so a synergistic approach with commercial roads must also be adopted. F1 tracks around the globe often use sections of public roads for racing.
The New Port City will set Sri Lanka up for its own city-on-the-sea akin to Palm Island and The World, Dubai. The city is to be constructed on filled land taking up the area between the Southern edge of the new Colombo South Port and the Fort Lighthouse. The total area of sea reclaimed is set to be 450 acres. ‘The New Port City Development Project will be implemented in March 2011’ said Chairman, Ports Authority, Dr. Priyath Wickrama in an exclusive interview with The Sunday Leader. ‘The new city is going to be well planned. Colombo unfortunately is not very well planned anymore. It was a quite well planned city during colonial times but has since become haphazard,’ said Wickrama.
The initiatives for the city involves shopping complexes, hotels, office complexes, etc. There is also a marina planned for boats and other water based activities.
The construction is set to begin in March 2011 with an initial budget of $450 million. The filling of the land is projected to take two years while subsequent infrastructure construction is projected to take another one and a half years.
The port city would be the best landscaped property in the island. First, a second breakwater would be built in front of the Old Parliament. "This would be at sea level and would not be visible to the public. This would serve as a buffer to the proposed harbour city", Chairman, UDA, Janaka Kurukulasuriya said. The next step would be filling the reclaimed land and would commence from the outer side of the Colombo South Breakwater. He explained that both Colombo South Harbour development and port city projects would stretch up to the Old Parliament building and the view from Galle Face Green would not be affected in any way. The Lotus Road, which lies between Galadari Hotel and the Old Parliament building would be extended to the sea from the roundabout, creating a four-way junction with a bridge. "The bridge would run over the sea and be the access road to the new property," the chairman said. The new property would be divided into three segments-one to house offices, the second for residential purposes and the third for leisure. In the area proposed for leisure, a yacht marina, a mini duty-free shop and Customs office would be built. This itself would be a mini international harbour. The land would be provided for investors for leisure activities and many international hotel chains along with local investors are expected to invest. A golf course too is planned to be built. A second suspension bridge would be built in the centre of the city. The area of the city adjoining the Colombo South Harbour would be reserved for offices and the maritime sector and many maritime investments are expected to be made here. Several private universities and educational institutions too are expected to invest in the project.
‘The Ports Authority will call for investors to buy land for use and construction as the project gets underway’ said Wickrama adding that private sector funds will be key in ensuring that the project is completed in time. He also said that many investors both local and foreign have shown ‘a lot of interest’ in investing already.
‘The models have been constructed and feasibility studies have been done. All the expertise has been provided by us and no foreign consultants have been approached so far.
The technology and knowledge needed for filling the land is sophisticated. A monorail is planned to reduce congestion in the city. Entrants will be encouraged to park their cars at the entrance and use the monorail to navigate the city,’ he said. According to Wickrama the funding will likely come from a Chinese source as some interest has already been conveyed from there. Wickrama also mentioned that bonds will be issued to raise funds in addition to private investments.
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