Muslim Town flyover Inauguration to be delayed by a couple of days

LAHORE:

The second leg of the Muslim Town flyover will not open on April 18, as announced, but is close to completion, the project director told The Express Tribune on Tuesday.

Chief Minster Shahbaz Sharif had set a deadline of March 23 for the flyover, but workers were only able to complete one of the bridges by that date. He had then announced that the second would open on April 18.

However, there is still a couple of days of construction work to go, said Project Director Sabir Khan Sadozai. “We will be able to complete it by Thursday,” he said.

overpass

overpass (Photo credit: Stitch)

Most of the road carpeting of the 1.2-km bridge number two is complete, but the ramp for traffic heading to Wahdat Road is yet to be carpeted. Concrete barriers and steel railing for the ramp are also missing.

The project director said that only “cosmetic work” like the installation of cat’s eyes and painting lane lines was left. He said carpeting work on the 0.35-km ramp was not possible yet as fresh box girders had been laid which would need time to set till Wednesday. He said that the bridges would be ready by Thursday, but could not say when it would open, as it would first have to be inaugurated by the chief minister.

Officials in the Construction and Works Department said that they were not surprised that the deadlines for the completion of the flyover had been missed, as the initial deadline of March 23 had been “very optimistic” for a flyover of this size. Another challenge was how to keep traffic flowing alongside the construction work.

Engineers in the Traffic Engineering and Planning Agency (TEPA) have voiced concerns that once the flyover is complete, a major traffic bottleneck will develop at Ichhra on the Ferozepur Road.

Sadozai conceded that this was a valid concern, but added that a solution was being worked upon. He said that the road at Ichhra would be rebuilt, taking about a month. He said that the junction at Shah Jamal would be redesigned and the traffic signals removed.

Service lanes

The project director said that once the flyover is complete, engineers will start work on the service lanes and roads beneath the bridges, which have suffered extensive damage due to heavy traffic load during the construction. He said that they would finish the work on the service lanes in around a month.

Stores located in the service lanes under the flyover said that the construction work had hurt their businesses and demanded quick repair of the service lanes.

Haji Zulfiqar of Style Wood Furniture said that he had gone from selling about three sets of furniture a day before construction work began to about three in a month over the last six months.

He said that this was a direct result of the reduced access to his shop due to the construction work. Muhammad Naveed, manager of Delite Electronics, said that they had been selling 8 to 10 electronic appliances per day before work on the flyover began. He said they now got no walk-in customers.

Source: http://tribune.com.pk/story/366141/muslim-town-flyover-inauguration-to-be-delayed-by-a-couple-of-days/