Sunday October 01, 2023

5-lane Expressway may be completed by year end

September 26, 2022

Islamabad : The overly delayed Korang bridge-PWD Interchange part of the Islamabad Expressway is likely to be completed by December 31 this year and thrown open for better and smooth flow of traffic on the extremely congested inter-provincial road which passes through the federal capital.

The Member (Engineering) of the Capital Development Authority (CDA), Syed Munawar Shah, told ‘The News’ that the pace of work on this segment of the project has picked up satisfactorily since it was awarded to the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO).

The whole project, which eventually has to transform the Islamabad Expressway from Faizabad to T-Chowk on GT (Grand Trunk) Road into a 5-line-a-side signal-free road is expected to be completed by the end of the year 2023. The Member (Engineering) said that the contract for the next segment of the project, from PWD onward up to T-Chowk has also been awarded to the FWO and the work has already star­ted from September 21, 2022, on this part.

A senior officer engaged with the project told ‘The News’ that the staggering point in the project still is the bridge on the mainline railway track passing under the Islamabad Highway at Korang. “This part of the project is sort of tricky to handle on the west side (going towards Islamabad) because of its unusual span of length for a bridge. But we are expected it would not delay the completion too much,” the concerned officer disclosed.

“However, it would not cause any substantial delay in completion of the project,” he added. The physical work on this project, which started back in October 2020 got bogged down, first because of the COVID-19 pandemic and later because of the unusual escalation of prices of necessary construction materials.

The situation put the original contractor awarded the work to continue and eventually the company engaged in an assignment contract with the FWO, which started work by deploying high numbers of men and machinery.

The concerned officer of the CDA said that despite unusual heavy and prolonged spells of monsoon rains, the FWO has been maintaining the pace of work on this project, keeping the hopes alive for timely completion of the project by 31st December this year.

The Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) also is playing its part by working hard to maintain as smooth a flow of traffic as possible. The ITP has deployed its officers at critical points and also has strategically changed the location of a critical U-turn between PWD and the Korang Nullah bridge.

Still because of the flow of heavy traffic, especially the long vehicles and over-loaded trucks things sometimes get out of hand, especially during the peak rush hours in the morning and in the late afternoon and evening. In the past the ITP had restricted movement of all heavy and goods transport vehicles from 7 am to 9 am and from 5 pm to 7 pm as traffic management measurement, which, for some time worked quite smoothly for smaller traffic.

However, somehow this restriction on the movement of heavy and transport vehicles during the peak rush hours seems to have been lifted for some inexplicable reasons over the last many months. Only if the ITP bosses may review their decision and resume this restriction on the movement of heavy transport vehicles during peak rush hours, this could also provide a huge relief to commuters.