Chief Minister (CM) Shahbaz Sharif’s deadline of March 22nd for the Communication and Works (C&W) Department to complete the Muslim Town Flyover will not be met. The CM might be able to inaugurate only one bridge of the flyover on March 23rd as work on the second bridge and its additional ramp is still continuing.
Work on the Muslim Town Flyover began on September 20, 2011 and was originally scheduled to be completed on May 30, 2012.
Sharif, however, changed the deadline and told the C&W Department and the National Logistics Cell to complete the flyover by March 20, so he could inaugurate it on March 23rd, on the eve of Pakistan Day (the Kalma Chowk flyover was inaugurated on last independence day).
C&W Department secretary Azam Suleman had told Sharif that the complexity and size of the flyover project made the deadline unrealistic but the CM did not budge from his demand.
“We are trying to open Bridge 1 (heading from Ichhra towards Gaddafi Stadium) for traffic by March 23rd,” said Sabir Khan, the project director. He did not have a completion date for Bridge 2 (from Gadaffi Stadium to Ichhra). “We missed the deadline but are close to completing the work. This project is 2.5 times larger than the Kalma Chowk one,” he said. He added that the CM was satisfied with the speed and quality of work.
The project director said the Muslim Town flyover was also more complex than Kalma Chowk flyover in its design and on account of an additional ramp leading to Wahdat Road (from Bridge 2).
The estimated cost of the project was Rs3.5 billion. Khan said they had not added up the costs as yet but he was sure that work would be completed within the approved budget.
The recommended speed of vehicles on the flyover is 60 km/hour. The total length of the flyover is 2,587 metres (m). Bridge 1 is 963m in length, Bridge 2 is 1,324m long and the ramp leading to Wahdat Road is 301m. Both bridges are three lanes, the Wahdat Road ramp, however, is two-lanes. A seven to 10m special corridor has been left between the flyovers for the upcoming Bus Rapid Transportation System (BRTS).
The number of spans used for the flyovers is 60. The length of the ramp on each side is 145m.
The width of the bridges is 11m each while the Wahdat Road ramp is 8m wide, 244 piles of 1.2m diametre have been used for foundation. There are 57 piers in the entire flyover.
Khan said he was not sure if the CM would inaugurate the flyover on the 23rd.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 22nd, 2012.
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