The 210-meter bridge which is the first east-west land connection across the Batticaloa Lagoon fulfills a long felt need of the people in the Eastern Province. Before the construction of the bridge, the access between the eastern and western shores of the lagoon was through a small ferry. During the rainy season, due to floods, the ferry service came to a halt and the people were forced to detour about 30 km to access the other side.
According to the Ministry of Finance and Planning, with the opening of the bridge, the distance from the Manmunai western shore to Batticaloa town also has been reduced from 27 km to 15 km and there is now improved access to emergency medical services and educational services for residents. The new transportation facility across the lagoon is expected to directly benefit 90,000 people with another 10,000 indirect beneficiaries.
The bridge was constructed by the Road Development Authority (RDA) with the assistance of a 1.2 billion Japanese Yen (approximately Rs. 2 billion) grant from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Since the end of the conflict, the Government has constructed and opened many bridges in the northern and eastern provinces including the Panichchankerni Bridge, the Kinniya Bridge, the Irakkandi Bridge and the Arugam Bay Bridge.