LAHORE: The newly-constructed Shahkam Chowk flyover has been opened to traffic, easing mobility of the public at large at Link Canal Road, Shahkam intersection and New Defence Road.

Since the flyover was operationalised after some necessary works were completed on a fast track in a bid to allow motorists to use the facility during Eid, the finishing work would be completed within the next 30 days, Dawn has learnt.

“The flyover has almost been completed. And now both sides of the flyover have been opened to traffic which will not only ease public mobility but also help us in eliminating environmental issues caused by the constant traffic jams, carbon emissions etc,” LDA Chief Engineer (II) Mazhar Hussain Khan told this reporter when contacted.

“For completion of the finishing works, the flyover will not be closed as the remaining work would be done side by side with continuation of traffic,” he added.

Finishing work to be completed within a month

It may be mentioned that work on the Rs4.233 billion Shahkam Chowk flyover project had been launched on-time in July last year. However, the land acquisition (64 kanal) was delayed for some time due to procedural issues. The possession of the entire land was given to the contractor in November last year. The project total outlay included Rs2.5487bn construction cost. For completion of the project, the Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco), on the request of LDA, had also observed power shutdown after Eidul Fitr in a bid to make the extra high voltage transmission lines (66kV, 132kV and 220kV) dead, enabling the construction workers and engineers of the contractor to easily lay girders, deck slabs through cranes under supervision of the project owner - Lahore Development Authority - without any fear of electrocution and other incidents.

Earlier, the Lesco had refused to observe shutdown during Ramazan with a view to supplying electricity to consumers uninterruptedly. However, after observance of the shutdown schedule, the engineers, workers and allied staff completed the works related to laying of girders, deck slabs and other material through heavy machinery.

“I can say that the substantial completion of the project has been done. The finishing works such as lane marking, beautification etc., the at-grade (on-ground) works at New Defence Road, which links Kahna/Ferozepur Road with Multan Road at Mohlanwal and other right/left housing schemes, villages and small localities will take a few weeks more,” the chief engineer explained.

“But we have opened the road leading to Mohlanwal. However, the New Defence Road (Hudiara drain side/Kahna) will also be opened soon after completion of some ongoing work if Lesco shifts as many as 50 poles to other place on time,” he said.

To a question, he said the Rs4.3 billion Saggian Road Rehabilitation Project would also be completed soon as the work is under way these days In May, the newly-constructed Sheranwala Gate flyover had also been opened to traffic, easing mobility of the people crossing the area to reach Ravi Road. However, some at-grade works including the allied ones - construction of a road with protected U-turns, slip roads, concrete pavement, shifting of utility services etc., were completed later. The construction work on the Rs5bn Sheranwala gate project had been launched in June last year and was set to be completed on March 18. However, various issues such as delay in land acquisition at tyre market and other areas affected the pace of work on the project. The Rs5bn project cost included Rs2.634bn for construction and the rest for the land acquisition. The beneficiary areas of the project include Lahore’s northern parts (railway station, Walled City, Akbari Mandi, Azam Cloth Market, Lunda Bazaar, Badami Bagh, Shadbagh, Misri Shah, GT Road, Shah Alam Market, Data Darbar area, Brandreth Road and Azadi Chowk).

“At present, this project is complete and there is no pending work,” the LDA chief engineer said.

Published in Dawn, July 10th, 2022

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