ISLAMABAD-The construction work on next phase of Islamabad Expressway Signal Free Corridor (Gulberg-Rawat) will start in coming days to regulate traffic flow on one of the most traffic-laden artery, said a top official of the Capital Development Authority (CDA).

 “All the relevant departments are mobilised, machinery is moving and the work will start with full force as alternate traffic plan is being prepared by member engineering, director traffic planning and traffic police,” CDA Chairman Amer Ali Ahmed told APP.

The work on final phase of the Islamabad Expressway Signal Free Corridor remained in limbo for last couple of years, mainly due to financial constraints faced by the civic agency, and it is the public who have been bearing the brunt of long-hour traffic clogs daily while traveling on such road.

Talking to this scribe, the project director said initially, the CDA would add two more lanes on both sides of one kilometre patch on Korang Bridge and construct underpass at the Public Works Department (PWD) intersection under the PC-I, approved by the Central Department Working Party with an estimated cost amounting Rs1.6 billion. The timeline for widening Korang Bridge and PWD underpass had been set for 15 and seven months, respectively, he added.

The director said the contractors had been hired through transparent bidding process for executing the project and it was expected that the construction work would be started by the next week.

When asked about the rest of work on project that involved addition of two more lanes on both sides of the Expressway till Rawat and construction of three more bridges, he said the option of completing the project under Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) plus was under consideration.

The PSDP plus was a concept of materialising a project under the public-private partnership, he explained.

A senior official of Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) said the expansion of Islamabad Expressway was much-imperative as some 420,000 vehicles were plying on this road daily.

The road had 17 entries including Dhok Kala Khan, Sohan, Kurri Road East and West, Gulberg, PWD, Bahria Town, Sihala, Kahuta Road, GT Road Zia Masjid East and West, Lehtrar road, KRL, Fazaiya Colony, Ghuari Town and others.

He said the expansion of expressway should be completed at the earliest as more construction was also expected along the Islamabad Highway in coming days.  

To a question, he said more than 42 staffers of ITP were being deployed from Koral to Rawat for handling daily traffic load. Besides, the entry of heavy traffic at Expressway had been banned during the office timings.