Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Sunday inaugurated the Azadi Chowk Flyover and the New Circular Road project.
He said the project had been completed in six months. “It will save the commuters a lot of time. The metro bus will be able to cross the Azadi Chowk without getting stuck in the traffic.” The CM said the project would play an important role in the economic development of the city and enhance its beauty. “It will also benefit the Badshahi Masjid, the Lahore Fort and the Minar-i-Pakistan by lowering the environmental pollution,” Shahbaz said.
He said the government wanted to make Lahore a city of parks, gardens and flowers.
“The promotion of education, health, transport and providing infrastructure to the people are the top priorities of the government,” the CM said.
Shahbaz said the government did not want a long march that ruined livelihoods. “Instead, we will launch a long march for development and prosperity of our country,” he said.
According to the LDA, the project has been completed in record 165 days at a cost of Rs5.35 billion. The length of the flyover is 2.53 kilometres. Work on the Azadi Chowk Signal Free Junction began on January 15. It was completed at the cost of Rs4.5 billion on June 29. A flyover and an elevated roundabout were constructed under the project. The roundabout has three up-ramps and three down-ramps. The two up-ramps and two down-ramps start from Taxali Chowk and end at Timber Market.
One up-ramp and a down-ramp have also been constructed on the Ahmad Ali Road. The overall length of the interchange is 2.53 kilometres.
Traffic leading to the Circular Road from Data Darbar, Shahdara and Timber Market will use this flyover for going to Maulana Ahmed Ali Road, Lorry Adda and Circular Road. On average, over 200,000 vehicles will daily pass through the junction, saving Rs9 million per annum in fuel costs. New Circlular Road was completed at the cost of Rs1.35 billion.
The total length of the new road is 1.6 kilometres. This dual carriageway is 14.7 metres wide on each side. It has eight lanes on both sides and each lane is 3.3 metres wide.
A roundabout and two U-turns have also been constructed on this road.
The new road starts from Maulana Ahmed Ali Road and connects Minar-i-Pakistan, Lorry Adda, Badami Bagh, Masti Gate and Circular Road.
The TEPA officially announced the completion of the project on June 5.
The opening of the project was delayed by the provincial government due to the busy schedule of the chief minister.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2014.