USAID Completes State-of-the-art Bridge in Sri Lanka

July 1, 2008
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SRI LANKA – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) today marked the end of its flagship tsunami reconstruction project with a new bridge across Arugam Bay Order procardia medication .

The $10 million span-constructed by USAID in partnership with Sri Lanka’s Road Development Authority under direction of the Ministry of Highways-is a gift from the American people, replacing the original bridge destroyed by the tsunami and the first of its kind in Sri Lanka.

Meetings with residents and community leaders in Pottuvil and Ulla to discuss the construction resulted in a modern steel-and-concrete structure common in the United States but never used in Sri Lanka. The design made the bridge less expensive, faster to build and more durable.

“For decades to come, this bridge over Arugam Bay will symbolize the commitment of the American people to help Sri Lanka rebuild and grow economically after the tsunami,” James R. Moore, the U.S. charge d’ affairs said at the opening ceremony. “It will bear witness to our support for stability, democratic governance, economic growth and development in Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province.”

About 80 percent of the bridge’s workforce was recruited locally, providing jobs for the surrounding communities. It’s expected the new connection will boost the local economy by providing easier access to the 64 hotels in the Arugam Bay area, said Rebecca Cohn, USAID’s mission director. “We’re proud of the community involvement which showed all of us that by working together we could complete this very ambitious project.”

Sri Lanka’s President, Mahinda Rajapakse, T.B. Ekanayake, minister of highways and Hon. S. Chanrakanthan, chief minister of the Eastern Provincial Council, were among the dignitaries presiding at the bridge’s official opening.

For more information about the USAID and its programs in Sri Lanka, visit

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