ISLAMABAD: The Executive Board of the National Highway Authority Thursday approved the proposal for dualization and improvement of Indus Highway (N-55) from Sarai Gambila to Kohat (128 km) and construction of a 4-lane access controlled motorway (49 km) between Yarik and Sagu.
The board met at NHA head office with Chairman Shahid Ashraf Tarar in the chair to review progress on countrywide highway schemes.
While giving details of the two projects, the Chairman NHA
informed the meeting that the additional carriageway between Sarai Gambila and Kohat would cost around Rs 30 billion.
It included construction of 26 bridges with one major bridge on Kurrum River.
He said Indus Highway (N-55) is 1,264 km long that runs along the Indus River connecting port city Karachi with Kohat & Peshawar via D. G. Khan & D.I.Khan.
The highway being the second largest road connection (after G.T Road) provides an alternate North-South link while traversing 491 km in Sindh, 360 km in Punjab & 396 km in KPK, and connecting Rajanpur, D.G.Khan, D.I.Khan, Bannu, Kohat & Peshawar.
The highway, however, is now facing difficulties in coping with the ever increasing traffic load especially the heavy vehicles due to its limited capacity.
This has resulted in shifting some of its traffic load to G.T road (N-5), causing frequent traffic jams there.
He said the dualization of N-55 will provide safe, quick and more efficient movement of both passenger and commercial traffic.
The Chairman NHA also informed the meeting that the proposed motorway between Yarik and Sagu carried an added significance as it will eventually become part of the under construction western alignment of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) near Yarik.
It will cost around Rs. 13 billion and provide an integral connection for the backward areas of southern KPK by helping agriculture and industrial activities through quick and easy access to the markets.