Expressway’s commuters to get stress-free travel by next year

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Islamabad: Feb 08, 2022 (TNS): The commuters, who daily face a nerve-racking gridlock on the Federal Capital’s most traffic-laden road, Express Highway, look forward to a stress-free travel, but from the next year.

The agonizing long ordeal of the travellers is expected to come to an end by June 2023 after completion of expansion and upgradation projects by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) associated with one of the country’s busiest road, accommodating over 420,000 vehicles daily.

“The major reason of the long hiatus was the financial constraint and the CDA was unable to carry out such a gigantic plan exclusively as certain rules were not allowing public-private partnership to finance the project,” said an official source in the Planning Wing of the civic agency. He said it took over a decade to resume work on the widening of the expressway, the first phase of which was completed way back.

Local Member of the National Assembly Raja Khurram Nawaz said the incumbent government was alive to the problems being faced daily by the commuters travelling on the highway and “is committed to complete this anxiously awaited project before its mandated five-year tenure.”

An incurable traffic tie-up, he said, “is a daily quagmire for the commuters from Gulberg to Kaak Bridge as the road suddenly narrows into two lanes. Despite construction of the PWD underpass the situation fails to improve as both the sides end up in two-lane roads. This situation aggravates during peak hours.”

However, Raja Khurram believes that “to resolve the traffic congestion we prioritized completion of the PWD interchange and the difference is visible now.” He said Rs 1,600 million was allocated for the project to the local PTI leaders and now work on the major bottleneck, Korang Bridge, was underway.

The dilapidated road from Rawat’s T Chowk to Gulberg is notorious for accidents and frequent breakdowns by heavily loaded trucks, causing long traffic snarls. Expansion from Korang Bridge upto Rawat T-Chowk, addition of three lanes on each side, construction of overhead bridges by the Defence Housing Authority (DHA), and service roads along housing societies were the project’s part and parcel and would be completed soon, the lawmaker pledged.

“It becomes a nightmare to travel on this ever clogged road after culmination of hectic job hours in the evening. Minor accidents and road rage incidents are a routine now as one has to go through a tough drive from Faizabad to Kaak Bridge,” Muhammad Aslam, who commutes daily from Zero Point to Model Town Humak, shared his sentiments.

He said the Islamabad Expressway was a must-opt artery for some localities and there was no alternate suitable route for them, and it was a good news for the residents that their long suffering was going to end next year.

The commuters have demanded construction of the service roads to provide an alternative when the road is blocked due to any accident, which has become almost a daily occurrence.