Almost one month since groundbreaking, work on 7th Avenue Interchange still not started

Published August 9, 2021
Vehicles travel on 7th Avenue as rain lashes Islamabad. — Photo by Mohammad Asim/File
Vehicles travel on 7th Avenue as rain lashes Islamabad. — Photo by Mohammad Asim/File

ISLAMABAD: Construction of 7th Avenue Interchange is yet to commence as the Capital Development Authority (CDA) continues to complete post-bid formalities despite passage of one month since the project’s groundbreaking.

Last month, Prime Minister Imran Khan performed the groundbreaking of the 7th Avenue Interchange and two other projects at Pak-China Centre.

The NLC won the contract after submitting the lowest bid against the one submitted by the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO). The CDA had estimated the cost of the project at Rs1.5 billion.

A CDA official, on the other hand, said letters of acceptance and commencement would be issued to the contractor – National Logistics Cell (NLC) – after the necessary formalities are completed.

Post-bid formalities being completed, NLC to be issued letter of commencement, CDA official says

According to plan, the interchange will be constructed at the junction of 7th Avenue, Srinagar Highway, Khayaban-i-Soharwardi and Garden Avenue near Aabpara.

This interchange will be a cloverleaf with four left and right loops while there will be an underpass to link both portions of Khayaban-i-Soharwardi.

CDA officials said post-bid formalities were being completed and the NLC would likely be issued the letter of commencement this week.

In the meantime, the successful bidder is carrying out its initial work such as conducting a survey before moving its machinery.

Meanwhile, the CDA and the Islamabad police are working to finalise a traffic diversion plan. The officials said once started the project will be completed in 18 months.

The interchange was planned in 2008 but it could not see any progress till last year when the CDA decided to get it executed.

“We are cognizant of the problem being faced by motorists as this junction is one of the busiest points. We got the PC-I approved and awarded the contract to NLC. Now it’s a matter of weeks to start work at the site,” said an officer of the CDA.

He said once completed the project will provide a big relief to the commuters.

Besides, the prime minister also performed the groundbreaking of the I.J. Principal Road and Sihala flyover. The CDA official said the contractor had mobilised its machinery and started a joint survey for the Sihala flyover. For the expansion and overhauling of I.J. Principal Road, the contractor was setting up its camp offices while sites have been identified where he will start test piling work soon.

The official said after the bidding process, one to two months are required for completing post-bid process such as survey, formal bid acceptance and issuance of a letter of acceptance.

“We have been working dedicatedly to complete the process of all three projects before their formal start. These projects are our priority and they will be started soon,” the official said, adding that once started there would be no delay as the CDA had surplus budget and contractors would be asked to ensure completion of these projects within the stipulated time.

Published in Dawn, August 9th, 2021

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