ISLAMABAD - The expansion of Islamabad Highway would likely be started in mid of July as the Capital Development Authority has received eight bids each for the construction of Korang Bridge and PWD Interchange.  

Source informed that these are the technical bids received from the contractors and a committee will evaluate them and eligible companies would be asked to submit the financial bids once technical bids are evaluated. A bid evaluation committee has already been constituted under the chair of Director General Works CDA and other members include director contracts, director roads (South), director structure, project director Islamabad highway, deputy director roads and a representatives of the consultant.

Eight companies applied for each project and some of the known includes National Logistics Cell (NLC), Joint Venture of Maqbool and Calsons, Faisal Construction, Habib Constructions, Maksons, Zarak Constructions, ZKB, Kundi and Usmani Constructions.  

The incumbent management is fully optimistic to complete the project within given time frame as there are no financial constraints to implement these projects. The federal government has allocated an amount of Rs800million against the total cost of Rs1625million for construction of Korang Bridge and PWD Underpass on Islamabad Expressway.

When contacted the Director Public Relations CDA MazharHussain confirmed the opening of technical bids and informed that the process of awarding contract for the aforementioned projects will be completed till 30th of June while the on-ground construction work would be started in the second week of July.  

The signal-free corridor project was a brainchild of the previous government of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and it was divided into two portions, from Zero Point to Koral and Koral to Rawat.

The first portion has already been completed with construction of four interchanges at I-8, Sohan, Khanna and Koral , but the second portion leading towards Rawat was facing delays due to lack of funding as earlier the civic body had declined to fund it while the project could not get required funds in PSDP for the year 2019-20 as well.

The said portion of Islamabad Expressway is a picture of neglect and poor performance of government due to its dilapidated condition. Potholes and craters have turned the road into a permanent nuisance for commuters while daily traffic congestion is a mental torture for routine travellers. However, now it is expected that after development of aforementioned bridge and interchange, the miseries of common people would be reduced.

The federal government has taken up rest of the portion of highway to be constructed on public-private partnership mode but it is in planning phase at the moment.