The Southern Expressway, also known as the Southern Lanka Distributor (Sinhala: දක්ෂිණ ලංකා අධිවේගි මාර්ගය, Tamil: தென்னிலங்கை அதிவேக நெடுஞ்சாலை) is Sri Lanka's first E Class highway. The 126 km (78 mi) long highway links the Sri Lankan capital Colombo with Galle and Matara, major cities in the south of the island. Construction of the highway began in 2006 and completion up to Galle was done in November 2011. Later in March 2014, the section from Galle to Matara was declared open for the public. The expressway currently reduces the time taken to travel from Colombo to Galle (116 km) to one hour from three hours and Colombo to Matara (161 km) to one and half hours from four hours taken by the regular A2 highway.