By Taimoor Iqbal Jadoon
ISLAMABAD, June 1 (APP): Abolition of signals at I-8 intersection, together with widening of the road from Zero Point to Faizabad have lessened, to some extent, the traffic woes of hundreds of motorists who otherwise were weary of traffic jams at this very junction on regular basis.
Newly carpeted road with two additional lanes and a signal-free ride have not only given mental and physical satisfaction to the motorists but also reduced atleast 7 to 10 minutes drive of those travel daily between the twin cities through the highway.
Previously, long queues of vehicles were witnessed at I-8 intersection particularly during office and school hours but the situation has now changed dramatically.
Everything is in perfect shape here other than the interchange which is also underway and that too at good pace.
“Comfortable journey before and after office hours is a blessing and surely we are heading towards that,” an employee of a private firm at Blue Area, Yasir Waheed said.
He said once the whole project would complete hundreds of thousands of people would be benefitted.
People are now anxiously waiting for the start of second phase of the project as it will include three intersections.
“The progress of project till now is up to the mark as the first phase has been completed well before the stipulated time,” while talking to APP a spokesamn of Capital Development Authority (CDA) said.
He said work on second phase of the project is in full swing and would also be completed before due date of completion.
Meanwhile, work on beautification of the highway has also been completed as a large number of beautiful trees and flowers have been planted along both sides of the road.
Being established with a cost of Rs 21.814 billion, the Islamabad Signal-free Corridor would be executed in three phases. In the second phase existing five lanes of 8.5 km road, from Faizabad to Koral Chowk, would be rehabilitated with the addition of grade separated facility while service roads on either side would also be dualized and rehabilitated.
“After the expansion of road from Zero point to Faizabad, now there are left three more points where traffic mess is witnessed including Sohan Signal, Khanna Pul and Koral Chowk and once these three points are made signal free a lot of time and energy of motorists will not waste,” a government employee, Atta ur Rehman said.
The Islamabad Highway Signal Free Corridor project consists of six interchanges, including full cloverleaf interchanges each at I-8 intersection, Khanna intersection and Koral Chowk, while partial cloverleaf interchanges at Sohan and GT road.
Talking to App, Project Director Shahid Mehmood said that the 25 percent construction work on Koral Interchange has been done as one portion of interchange has also bee constructed.
He said the work of Koral interchange would be completed within six months.
Whereas a large number of people have started reaping the fruits of the project, some have reservations on its planning as they consider that the most troublesome part of the road is put in the last phase of the project, which is beyond understanding.
Thousands of people are living in the newly established housing societies at Zone 5 alongside the highway including PWD housing society, Media town, Bahria town and others, who travel daily to the central city for one pretext or the other.
“This section does not deserve to be called a highway as its two dilapidated lanes are often choked when a truck breaks down in the middle, causing inconvenience for not only motorists but Ambulances as well which often stuck in the traffic jam,” a resident of Soan Gardens located at the
highway, Zulfiqar Shah said.
He requested the authorities concerned to start work on this phase in parallel with phase two in order to facilitate thousands of motorists and commuters.
It is pertinent to mention that expansion of this 12.5 km portion of the road is included in the scope of the project and it would be expanded into four lanes on each side with grade separated facility.