Workers prepare cages of test piles at the project site. — Dawn
Workers prepare cages of test piles at the project site. — Dawn

ISLAMABAD: The National Logistics Cell (NLC) engaged by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) for the construction of 7th Avenue Interchange has started preparation of piles at the site.

“The pile testing work has been started after which formal construction will be launched,” said an engineer of the CDA. He said preparation of piles to check the load bearing capacity of the site was part of the project.

He said after the pile testing phase, which would take a few weeks, work on other parts of the project would start.

Speaking to Dawn, CDA Chairman Amer Ali Ahmed said the contractor had started work and cages of test piles were being prepared.

“After the process of testing piles, the NLC will start digging and construction process,” he said, adding that the interchange would provide a big relief to citizens from traffic gridlocks.

Formal construction to start in a few weeks, says CDA engineer

Last month, Prime Minister Imran Khan performed the groundbreaking of the 7th Avenue Interchange and two other projects - overhauling and expansion of I.J.P Road and construction of the Sihala flyover.

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

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

The NLC won the contract after submitting the lowest bid against the one submitted by the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO). The FWO’s bid was around Rs1.6 billion.

CDA officials said that recently a letter of bid acceptance was issued to the NLC.

The interchange was planned in 2008 and many times the CDA management discussed it but the project could not see any practical progress.

On the other hand, motorists have been facing traffic mess and prolonged signals at the junction. Long queues of vehicles could be seen on a daily basis particularly during office and school hours.

“We know the issue of prolonged signals and problems being faced by commuters. We will ensure completion of this project within one year as we have a surplus budget. NLC is a big construction firm and we hope it will complete the project before the stipulated time of one year,” said the CDA engineer.

The engineer said in the initial one month, which is meant for testing piles, traffic will not face any hurdle. However, after a month, traffic will face some disturbance near the site.

He, however, said that a traffic diversion plan was being prepared and CDA and the traffic police will try their best to avoid inconvenience to the motorists.

Published in Dawn, August 15th , 2021

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