Vision | Mission | Goals & Objectives | Roles & Responsibilities | Organization | History | RDA Act
About RDA
  Our Vision

"Sustainably developed Sri Lanka"


Our Mission

As the premier national organization of the road sector, to provide an adequate and efficient network of national highways, to ensure mobility and accessibility at an acceptable level of safety and comfort, in an environment friendly manner, for the movement of people and goods paving way for the socio-economic development of the nation.


Goals & Objectives

Goals and objectives of Road Development Authority are as follows;

  • Achieve an adequate National Highway Network.
  • Achieve an acceptable level of mobility in the national highway network through; maintaining the roads at an acceptable condition;
  • Provide a high mobility expressway network.
  • Take measures to reduce road user cost;
  • Improve road safety in the National Highway Network.
  • Ensure protection of the environment in all its activities.
  • Ensure efficient utilization of assets and investments.
  • Promote organizational development to enhance overall performance of RDA
  • Assist in the development of the local road construction industry.


Roles & Responsibilities

The functions performed by the RDA consist mainly of the maintenance and development of the roads and bridges in the National Highway Network and the planning, design and construction of new highways, bridges and expressways to augment the existing network.

The RDA has a responsibility for the development of the road network to cater for the on-going overall development programme of the country. Since, Road Transport is the primary mode of transport in the country, it is very vital that road network is adequate to developed to promote efficient transport of people and goods. The RDA has a responsibility to plan the future road network taking into consideration the future travel demand and formulating project proposals to meet this demand.

The RDA being the Principal Highway Authority has a responsibility to provide a road network to meet the social aspirations of the people in terms of mobility and safety. Since, the people at large depend on public transport for their travel needs it is the responsibility of the RDA to maintain the road network to a reasonable standard so that there would be un-interrupted public transport available to them.

Since, the rehabilitation and development of the road network is undertaken with public funds at a very high cost, it is responsibility of the RDA to ensure that the adequate economic returns are achieved from the investments made on highway improvements. This is achieved by carrying out feasibility studies before major projects are undertaken and followed by post evaluation of these projects after completion.


Organizational Structure of RDA

The RDA is a major Civil Engineering Organization with specialized skills in Highway and Bridge Planning, Design, Construction, Maintenance and Highway Safety. The organizational structure is designed to carry out the functions assigned to the RDA and to achieve its goals and objectives.

The RDA organization under the Board of management has the Director General as the Chief Executive Officer. The Director General is assisted by 5 Additional Director Generals and 18 Directors to carry out various functions.

In the organizational structure of the RDA, there are 19 functional divisions of which 18 divisions are headed by a Director except for the PropertyManagement & Revenue Unit. The Directors of the 18 divisions are reporting to the Additional Director Generals, to the Director General or directly to the Chairman.

Functional Divisions

  1. Administration Division
  2. Construction Division
  3. Engineering Services Division
  4. Environment & Social Development Division
  5. Expressway Operation, Maintenance & Management Division
  6. Finance Division
  7. Highway Designs Division
  8. Internal Audit Division
  9. Land Division
  10. Legal Division
  11. Maintenance Management Division
  12. Mechanical Division
  13. Planning Division
  14. Procurement Division
  15. Property Management and Revenue Unit
  16. QualityAssurance & Progress Monitoring Division
  17. Research & Development Division
  18. Rural Bridge Construction Unit
  19. Training Division
Most of the foreign funded projects are handled by the respective Project Management Units (PMUs), and they are functioning as independent PMUs under the Ministry of Higher Education & Highways. These PMU’s maintain independent accounting units, responsible to the Ministry of Higher Education & Highways and to Road Development Authority. At the RDA level, the activities of those projects are coordinated by the Additional Director General (Projects).

Provincial Setup

Under the provincial set up of the RDA, there are 10 Provincial Directors reporting to Director Maintenance Management. As the Eastern Province has been divided into two regions, there are two Provincial Directors in that Province, one in Batticaloa and the other in Akkaraipattu. Under each Provincial Director, there is a Chief Engineer for each District and an Executive Engineer for each division. The Provincial Directors, Chief Engineers and Executive Engineers are supported by a number of other Engineers and Technical staff appointed on the basis of the workload.

Source: Annual Report 2016, RDA


Historical Development of the Road Sector Organizations and Road Network

The historical development of the road network in the country dates back to Colonial times when roads were constructed mainly to transport agricultural produce such as Tea and Coffee from plantation areas to the Colombo harbour and for Civil Administration and defence. The roads initially constructed in the country catered for animal drawn carts. With the advent of the motor vehicles in the country in the 1940s, it became necessary to improve the road network to cater for the needs of the motor vehicles.

In the 1950s the main road network of the country was developed and maintained by the Public Works Department. This department was responsible not only for Roads but also for Buildings, Water Supply & Drainage, Housing etc. In the mid 1960s the Public Works Department was responsible only for the Development and Maintenance of the Public Roads and Buildings. In 1969 a major policy change was made and a new Department of Highways was formed solely for the Development and Maintenance of the A, B, C, D and E class roads maintained by the then Department of Public Works, and the total kilometreage of these roads was approximately 28,000 km.

However, this change was short lived, since the Territorial Civil Engineering Organisation (TCEO) was formed in 1971 to take over the major functions of the Highways Department. Upto 1970 the Highways Department and then Public Works Department had fully fledged Bridges Division which undertook the design and construction of all major bridges in the country. However, with the formation of the TCEO another organisation known as State Development and Construction Corporation (SD & CC) was formed to undertake the construction of bridges and other civil engineering works. The functions of TCEO included maintenance and improvements of A, B, C, D and E class roads, maintenance and improvements of Irrigation Works, maintenance and improvements of village tanks, irrigation canals and providing assistance to local authorities for road & bridge improvement works on local authority roads. Although, the Highways Department also functioned during this period, its functions were reduced to planning, design of major roads and bridges and construction supervision of major road and bridge works.

Another major re-organisation of the Highways Sector was effected in 1978 when the TCEO was abolished and functions of the TCEO transferred back to the Highways Department. In 1983 the Road Development Authority (RDA) was formed under the Ministry of Highways incorporated by the RDA Act No 73 of 1981. The functions of RDA at its inception were confined to the execution of selected construction works.

The functions of the RDA were expanded in 1986, when it became the successor to the then Department of Highways. In 1986, the RDA was entrusted with the responsibility of developing and maintaining all classified roads in the country (A,B,C,D and E class roads) totalling upto approximately 28,000 kms of roads and the bridges thereon. In 1989 with the devolution of power under the 13th amendment to the constitution, the C, D and E class roads totalling approximately 17,000 kms and the bridges thereon were handed over to the Provincial Councils.

Currently the road network of Sri Lanka is divided into three categories as National Roads, Provincial Roads and roads governed by Local Authorities. The RDA also takes over roads that belong to the Provincial Councils and Local Authorities and enlist them into the National Road Network.

The National Road Network consists of 12,210.36 km of Trunk (A class) and Main (B class) roads, 169.13 km of Expressways and about 4,662 bridges (span of more than 3m) as at January 2018. Road Development Authority is respobnsible for maintenance and development of the National Road Network and planning, design and construction of new highways, bridges and expressways to augment the existing road network.




  1. Road Development Authority Act No. 73 of 1981
  2. Road Development Authority (Special Provisions) Act No. 5 of 1988


  1. National Thoroughfares Act, No. 40 of 2008
  2. Thoroughfares Act.
  3. Thoroughfares (Amendment) Act, No. 9 of 1988
  4. Thoroughfares (Amendment) Act, No. 81 of 1988

Motor Traffic Act (Chapter 203)

  1. Part I : Section (I) General ( Dimensions and gross vehicle weight)