Pakistan’s new E-35 expressway, which links Islamabad to the north of the country, has shortened travel time and made trips safer. It also connects the country to Western and Central Asia.
The Asian Development Bank and the United Kingdom Department for International Development funded the construction of this new expressway.
Islamabad, Pakistan - The 59 km E-35 expressway connects Islamabad to Havelian in the north of the country. Before it was built, motorists traveling north would use the N-35 highway. But traffic was often heavy and the road conditions poor.
“Seeing the increasing number of vehicular traffic and the worsening of road congestions, the government decided to build a four-lane control access facility to have a quicker, safer and a more efficient passage for vehicular traffic and of course to tourist destinations in the northern areas,” says Fayyaz Ahmed, Director of the Hasan Abdal-Havelian Expressway (E-35) Project.
Construction of the E-35 expressway has shortened travel time to Havelian by over 2 hours.
“The old route would take more than 2 hours, now after the construction of the new motorway, it takes an hour or so to reach my destination,” says traveler Shafi Ameen.
Truck driver Imran Ashraf adds: “Because of the smooth and clean road, our vehicle does not need as much maintenance.”
“The number of accidents has decreased and traveling has become a lot easier for motorists,” says traveler Aslam Khan.
His view is shared by many truck drivers.
“I’m very happy for the new motorway. The tires no longer get punctured and the car does not get damaged,” says Nisar Mohammad.
Construction of the road was funded by the Asian Development Bank and the United Kingdom Aid.
The new expressway was the missing link in Pakistan’s road network.
The expressway helps position Pakistan as a trading hub between Western and Central Asia.
“The vehicle traffic which will come from China and other Central Asian states, they will have no other alternative route to connect to already established motorway network of Pakistan except this portion of motorway, so due to this very reason, the government also upgraded the facility from 4-lane to 6-lane to cater for the additional traffic load which will generate after full-fledged operationalization of this trade route,” says Project Director Fayyaz Ahmed.
The expressway benefits the economy too, with adjoining towns and industrial zones transformed into economic corridors.