Work on Faisal Avenue bridge begins

ISLAMABAD, Oct 5: After a number of traffic accidents and protest by the residents of G-7 and G-8, construction of a pedestrian bridge on Faisal Avenue has started at last.

Work on the 113-meter-long bridge will be completed within two months, Dawn has learnt.

At the moment, there are pedestrian bridges on Seventh Avenue, Islamabad Expressway, I.J. Principal Road and Murree Road (in front of Margalla Town).

Aurangzeb Khan, a resident of G-7, said he worked in a government office in sector G-8 and every day walked to and from his workplace. “During office timings, it becomes almost impossible to cross Faisal Avenue and sometimes I wait for over 10 minutes to cross the road. Almost every day I see or hear from others about pedestrians being hit by vehicles on the busy road. A number of persons were shifted to hospitals in front of my eyes,” he said.

Due to the incidents, residents of the area not only protested and demanded installation of a pedestrian bridge but they also filed applications with the Capital Development Authority (CDA).

Saghir Chaudhry, a trader in G-7 Market, said when Kamran Lashari was the CDA chairman, not only roads were widened but also overhead bridges and underpasses were built.

“Though widening of roads was good for the drivers, it created problems for pedestrians and the incidents of vehicles hitting them increased,” he said.

An officer of CDA said within about one month after the construction of Seventh Avenue in 2007, three persons, including a woman, were killed on the road.

“It had been decided that 35 bridges will be constructed all over the city but due to financial problems only a few of them could be completed,” he said.

The CDA has awarded the contract for installation of the overhead bridge on Faisal Avenue to the Heavy Mechanical Complex (HMC), said Zakir Mehmood, the HMC contractor. It will be constructed within two months; however, weather conditions and a possible change in the design can delay the work by about 15 days.“On Seventh Avenue, pedestrian bridges are of arc shape but this one will be straight with a canopy. The length of the road is 57 metres but ramps of 28 meters will be constructed on both sides,” he said.

Spokesman for CDA, Masoodur Rehman said they were well aware of the problems of the pedestrians. He said CDA Chairman Syed Tahir Shahbaz had instructed all the staff to give priority to resolving the issues of the common people.