ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will inaugurate the Multan-Shujabad section of Sukkur-Multan Motorway (M-5) and the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Bridge over River Indus connecting N-5 with N-55 on Saturday.
The opening of the motorway section will facilitate fast and easy communication between Multan and Shujabad, said a press release issued here earlier.
The Sukkur-Multan Motorway is part of Karachi-Lahore Motorway Project and is being constructed under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). It is 394km long and will cost around Rs294 billion.
Work on the Motorway was started in 2016 and is scheduled to complete by 2019. It is a 6-lane access controlled facility, taking off from Sukkur and terminating at Multan, after passing through several major cities including Ghotki, Rahim Yar Khan, Sadiqabad and Bahawalpur. The alignment traverses through the provinces of Sindh and Punjab. The project includes construction of several bridges, interchanges, culverts, underpasses and other allied structures as well as service areas.
Meanwhile, the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto bridge over River Ravi provides an important communication link across the Indus River between the cities of Zahirpur on G.T. Road (N-5) and Indus Highway (N-55) via Mithankot. There is no river crossing on Indus up to Ghazighat, which is approximately 50km downstream of Taunsa Barrage. Dera Ghazi Khan is located approximately 120 km upstream of this bridge.
The bridge will greatly facilitate the traffic from Karachi, Kashmore etc on the Western side and Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalpur, Multan, Faisalabad and Lahore on the Eastern side, being a short route from Karachi to Lahore. It was an age-old demand of the people and will boost the economic growth of areas on both sides of the river, besides reducing distance and time of travel.
The bridge is 1.2km long with 12.2m width. Approach roads including 14km towards Zahirpur on N-5 and 16km towards Mithankot and N-55 have also been constructed.