RAWALPINDI, June 21: With the deadline to complete the project in April this year already missed, work on the expansion of the Marrir Hassan railway crossing is getting complicated for the engineers.
Launched in November 2012, the project will be completed by August 2013, a senior official told Dawn on Thursday.
Under the plan, the old railway bridge is being replaced with a 102-metre-long ‘super steel’ crossing to expand the Benazir Bhutto Road by 50 feet at the busy intersection. The project will cost around Rs400 million.
The military-run contractor, National Logistics Cell (NLC), which completed three multi-billion road projects in Rawalpindi within about three months each, is under pressure for failing to complete the steel structure within the stipulated time.
Compared to 50 feet deep pillars of the Chandni Chowk and Sixth Road flyovers and the Pirwadhai underpass, the pillars of the Marrir Hassan steel crossing had to be dug about 167 feet. Engineers from different departments were called to fix the steel pillars and fill them with concrete that consumed more time.
According to NLC, the shortage of rig machines in the country also caused the delay to complete the project. But the major challenge was to search for the special fabricated steel that was not available in the country and was later imported from Dubai.
“It is a highly specialised engineering project involving construction of a steel bridge for laying the railway track. The project in no way can be compared to the ordinary bridges and flyovers,” a brief prepared by the NLC stated.
Chaudhry Naseer Ahmed, the director general of the Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA), whose office is the implementing agency for the project, told Dawn on Thursday that the project was the first of its kind and a new experience for the civic agency.
“The project is complicated and after completion it will be an engineering marvel. The fabrication of steel includes 400,000 joints while the special steel has been imported to withstand the pressure of trains. We are hopeful to complete the project by August,” the RDA chief said.
He added that there was no dearth of funds, adding the project consumed time because the three stakeholders - Pakistan Railways, NLC and RDA - had to share engineering skills about the execution of the project.
Mr Ahmed said engineers of Pakistan Railways had been involved in the execution of the project in accordance with the design prepared by the railways. He added that work on the project had been completed except for the steel fabricated structure which was being prepared in Rawat.