Government okays 16-km expressway for Lahore

Associated Press of Pakistan

LAHORE: In order to reduce the huge traffic burden on North-South axis of Lahore, the Punjab government has decided to construct 16-km-long one-way Elevated Expressway from Lahore Bridge (General Hospital) to Ravi Road.

According to official sources, it will be a one-lane road on raised platform open to downtown traffic at mornings and uptown traffic in the afternoons but it has yet to be decided if it would be workable both ways or not. The authorities planning the Expressway are however very clear that the elevated road will just be one-lane project for either north-to-south or south-to-north traffic. It can also be one way in the morning and the other way in the evenings. The objective of building an elevated expressway is to facilitate commuters to be able to go downtown straight at a non-stop run or go back home after a day’s job.

The elevated road, long thought and planned, has had many hiccups and hitches and it is now expected to be finally taken up in October next. The project will be started from Chungi Amer Sidhu, to be called Lahore Bridge side of the Expressway. After commissioning, the Expressway will have the capacity to let 100,000 vehicles shuttle daily with a speed limit 100 km/hr.

The Punjab government has hired National Engineering Services Pakistan (NESPAK) for its planning and designing. This project will be similar to Lahore Mass Transit System and the entire length of the road will be run on raised pillars like Expressways built in many modern cities of the world. The road will pass through Kalma Chowk, Qaddafi Stadium, MAO College, Niazi Chowk and Ravi road.

Transport projects in offing: CM: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that all formalities have been completed to initiate transport projects for the provision of better facilities for the masses and promotion of trade and economic activities in the province. He was presiding over a high-level meeting regarding development projects, here on Monday.

The chief minister said that construction work of Lahore and Rawalpindi expressways would be started simultaneously on October 1 and decision has been taken in principle to implement both the projects on BOT basis. Meanwhile, construction work of Shalimar Flyover would be inaugurated today (Tuesday), he added.

Frontier Works Organization (FWO) Director General Maj-Gen Javed Iqbal, while highlighting the strategy of implementation of development projects, said that the FWO was the only institution, which had an experience in construction of development projects on BOT basis. He said that the FWO would complete construction of Multan Road in Lahore as well as 16 other major roads.

Task Force on Development Projects Chairman Ahmad Hassan said that there would be a complete ban on digging of roads for five years after the construction and steps had also been taken for coordination with other departments for completion of development projects.

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