The newly constructed flyover near the Karachi airport has been closed for vehicular traffic just a few days after it was inaugurated.
The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) has shut the bridge – named after Sindh’s former governor Mahmoud A Haroon – “to complete the remaining construction work and check the durability of the structure”.
The flyover has been built at a cost of Rs330 million on Sharea Faisal to ease traffic jams near the Jinnah Terminal. The bridge was inaugurated by Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad on May 29.
At the inauguration ceremony, Karachi Administrator Syed Hashim Raza Zaidi told the media representatives that the bridge had been completed a month before the stipulated time. “The bridge has been opened for public from today (May 29). Lane marking and installation of cat eyes will be completed within two days and the pending work will be done in a week,” he had said.
On June 1, the administrator had directed the bridge’s project director to complete the construction and development works under the bridge at the earliest. He did not, however, mention that the bridge would be closed for the construction works.
Almost 80 percent construction at the flyover has been completed while the remaining work will be completed by Wednesday night, according to KMC officials. By Thursday, the bridge will be reopened for vehicular movement.
“We have to see if any patch appears on the bridge or there is any other fault. We will like to fix it beforehand to avoid any major accident,” an official said, requesting anonymity.“We used to inaugurate bridges and then temporarily stop every type of vehicular movement for the next couple of days to complete the remaining work, including lane markings, installation of electric poles while mainly checking, fixing or completing the expansion joints,” one KMC official said.
Sources claim, however, the bridge cannot be reopened for proper use till coming Thursday as expansion work of the bridge’s joint and lane markings cannot be completed before a week.The bridge has been inaugurated in a hurry as work on expansion joints was not complete when the governor opened it for traffic.A number of attempts were made to contact the KMC Technical Services Director General Niaz Soomro but he did not pick up his phone.