LAHORE: The management of Punjab Central Business District Development Authority will begin work on the tunnel component (1) of the Rs5 billion Kalma Chowk Remodeling Project on December 10. During this time, the one side of Kalma Chowk toward Gulberg from Barkat Market would remain closed to motorists for 15 days.

Dawn has learned that the opposite side of the Kalma Chowk underpass (going toward Barkat Market from Gulberg via Centre Point) would also be closed for 15 to 20 days because work on tunnel part 2 is also expected to begin on December 30.

“Of the 1,560 piling beams, 560 have had their work finished. The remainder will be finished shortly, allowing us to begin digging for the tunnel portion-1 (underpass-1) that will connect the major boulevard of the business district,” an official said.

“The work will start on Dec 10 for which we will have no option but to close one side of the existing Kalma Chowk underpass for 15 days or so.”

He said since the tunnel would take 20 days to complete, the arrangements for smooth traffic have been completed with the help of traffic police.

He said though the project completion date is April 28, 2023, the project management will try to get it done by February 2023.

The project, also known as the central business district square, will commence from the Kalma Chowk underpass, separating it from the first underpass access to the Lahore Central Business District and then another underpass while turning towards Firdaus Market (Ali Zeb Road) from Centre Point. Besides, it will have several allied at-grade (on-ground) development works on Gulberg’s main boulevard, and underground sewerage/drainage upgrade.

The authority calls the project a unique one that will have two underpasses immediately after crossing the Kalma intersection underpass (while heading toward Gulberg from Barkat Market), giving signal-free access to motorists to the CBD project. With the completion of the project, the Gulberg Main Boulevard will be completely a signal-free corridor from Centre Point to Siddique Trade Centre and then the entire Jail Road till Qartaba Chowk/Mozang.

Since the construction of a CBD boulevard is a vital part of the activities, the project aims to construct underpasses at Kalma Chowk to allow seamless entry/exit for motorists to the CBD at Walton while avoiding disruption to the existing traffic in the vicinity. The project’s two-lane underpass-1 turning toward Ali Zeb Road from Centre Point measuring 632 meters will have two barrels (38 feet wide each) and 5.1-meter vertical clearance (around 17 feet, fit for all light and heavy transport passing). The second underpass (from Barkat Market to the CBD area at Walton) will be 285 meters having two barrels (every 35 feet wide with around 17 feet vertical clearance).

Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2022

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