ISLAMABAD: The construction of the 7th Avenue interchange and the rehabilitation on I.J. Principal Road are on the cards, as their PC-Is are likely to be approved by the Capital Development Authority’s (CDA) Development Working Party (DWP) tomorrow (Tuesday).

According to sources, both projects will be approved during the DWP meeting, as the government wants to begin construction on both projects before the calendar year ends.

The 7th Avenue project was conceived of back in 2008, but has not moved beyond discussions between CDA officials because its PC-I has not been approved.

In the absence of an interchange, motorists continue to face traffic congestion at the intersection of 7th Avenue and Srinagar Highway near Aabpara due to prolonged traffic signals, particularly during rush hours.

Govt wants to begin construction on both projects before calendar year ends

But, sources said, the PC-I for this Rs2 billion project and the PC-I for the Rs5bn project to rehabilitate I.J. Principal Road – including the construction of three flyovers – will be approved on Tuesday.

“We are fully focused on these two projects and our all homework to obtain approval from the CDA-DWP on Tuesday is complete. After the PC-Is are approved, we will begin construction work before Dec 31 this year,” Chairman CDA Amer Ali Ahmed said.

Mr Ahmed told Dawn that these projects would address traffic congestion in Islamabad roads. Construction on Islamabad Highway and the Rawal Dam interchange is also underway.

“We have already allocated funds for these two projects and we are making every effort to start them before completion of this calendar year,” he said.

CDA officials said that for the 7th Avenue interchange, the CDA will build an interchange on the edges of Srinagar Highway, Khayaban-i-Suharwardy and Garden Avenue near Aabpara.

As per its proposed design, the project will be a replica of the Zero Point interchange.

“This project was announced in 2008, but due to negligence and shortage of funds, its PC-I could be completed. During the last few years, the PC-I was presented before the CDA-DWP only to be dropped.

This time around, we completed all aspects and there is no reason for the PC-I to be rejected now,” a CDA engineer said.

While discussing the rehabilitation and expansion of I.J. Principal Road, the engineer said that the PC-I for this project is Rs5.3bn.

The project will include the rehabilitation of the dual carriageway, the construction and two additional rigid lanes, and three flyovers on the 9th, 10th and 11th avenues.

He said that prior to finalising the PC-I for this project, the CDA had a consultant carry out a feasibility study, and the consultant suggested two additional rigid lanes and three flyovers in addition to the rehabilitation of the existing road.

I.J. Principal Road is one of the busiest roads in Islamabad. It connects the capital to Rawalpindi and serves as a route for heavy transport travelling from Punjab and Azad Kashmir towards Taxila, Attock and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and caters to the I-11 Sabzi Mandi and wholesale market.

The road divides Rawalpindi and Islamabad. According to the original master plan for both cities, Rawalpindi authorities were supposed to develop a J sector on their side, which was why the road was named as a principal road between the I and J sectors.

Although the Rawalpindi administration did not adhere to this recommendation, it is still known as I.J. Principal Road.

Published in Dawn, October 26th, 2020