ISLAMABAD: The chief civic agency of the federal capital on Sunday started work on widening Service Road (West) so that it can handle traffic heading from Faisal Mosque to Zero Point once the main road is closed for work on building an underpass at Sector G-7/G-8. To ensure the smooth flow traffic of on the avenue, Capital Development Authority (CDA) Chairman and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Chief Commissioner Amer Ali Ahmed has directed the body’s Engineering Wing to devise a comprehensive traffic diversion plan in consultation with the Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) as well as CDA’s Transport and Traffic Planning Directorate (T&TP), before construction work on the underpass starts. In the first phase of widening Service Road (West) of Sector G-7, heavy machinery has been deployed by the contractor. Earthwork for Service Road (West) of Sector G-7 is in progress and traffic will be diverted on to it next weekend so that initial excavation work on the underpass can start. During the next phase, work on widening of the Service Road (East) of Sector G-8 will be carried out so that traffic emerging from Zero Point and Kashmir Highway can be diverted on it. Commuters travelling towards Jinnah Avenue, Margalla Road and Faisal Mosque will use the Service Road (East) of Sector G-8 to avert traffic congestions in the area. The underpass will help connect the eastern and western parts of the city through a signal-free corridor.
Construction of the underpass had been initially approved by CDA’s Departmental Working Party in 2014. Building underpasses in the city were part of its old master plan to link sectors together. In this regard, the CDA had managed to build under passes on Seventh Avenue to link Sector G-6 with Sector G-7 and Sector F-6 with Sector F-7. A further two underpasses were planned to be built on Faisal Avenue but no progress was made on the project until earlier this year when the CDA decided to finally press ahead with the construction of one underpass connecting Sector G-7 and Sector G-8. Subsequently, as many as 13 firms participated in the process. But with two firms unresponsive, they were excluded from further processes. A committee — with CDA Works director-general in the chair and financial advisor, roads (north) director, contracts director, QS director and roads deputy director as its members, was to review the technical bids and submit its report.