NHA links Indus Highway, Kohat city with CPEC M-14 motorway
Islamabad (February 14): National Highway Authority (NHA) has achieved 86% progress on Pindigheb-Kohat Expressway and the road is open to traffic, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Shehzad Arbab revealed on Saturday while disclosing details of the NHA’s performance during the current government.
The new 4-lane expressway links the historic Indus Highway (N-55) and Kohat city of KP province with the Hakla-D.I. Khan motorway (M-14 section of the western alignment of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor network), Arbab stated in his social media post.
Arbab headed a committee for evaluation of performance of government departments, which recently awarded first place to the Ministry of Communication.
The expressway will also provide another link to Peshawar, capital of KP province, to M-14, through N-55. N-55 is a north-south highway connecting Peshawar with Karachi, which is currently being upgraded to serve as an alternate route to the CPEC western alignment.
The new expressway will open a door of prosperity to some of the most overlooked areas of KP and Punjab provinces by connecting them to CPEC. The new road will cut down travel time between Kohat and Islamabad to around 2 hours from 4-5 hours.
The expressway still has a missing connection near Khoshalgarh area where a flyover over a railway crossing is still under construction, sources told Gwadar Pro. However, the road is commutable from Kohat to Islamabad and people have already started using the new link instead of the old N-80 Highway, they said. Also, one side of the bridge on Raisi Gully is under construction while the other side is open to two-way traffic, they said.
Arbab said that the remaining works will be completed by next month.
The 80 kilometre long expressway was divided into two packages and awarded to separate contractors for speedy construction in 2018 at a total cost of over Rs12 billion.
Arbab stated that the 106 kilometre long 2-lane Basima-Khuzdar Highway was also near completion with 80% work progress. The highway will complete a missing link in the east-west M-8 Motorway, which connects Sindh province with Gwadar, the port city being developed under CPEC in Balochistan province. Other CPEC related road projects in Balochistan are also underway at a fast pace with 90% work progress achieved on 200 kilometres long Yakmach-Kharan road in south Balochistan, he said.