The Prime Minister will inaugurate the Multan-Shuja’abad Section of Sukkur-Multan Motorway (M-5) and the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Bridge over River Indus connecting N-5 with N-55 on May 26, 2018.The opening of the Motorway section will facilitate fast and easy communication between the cities of Multan and Shuja’abad. The Sukkur-Multan Motorway is part of Karachi-Lahore Motorway Project and is being constructed under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). It is 394 km long and will cost around Rs. 294 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.
The main objective of the project is to provide an access controlled high speed motorway for efficient and safe transportation of passengers and goods to and from the major industrial and economic hubs of the country. The Motorway will contribute towards the development of an environment, whereby the existing and future traffic shall be catered for an adequate level of service, which in turn will result in significant benefits to the national economy. The fuel consumption of vehicles will be significantly reduced, due to the increased traffic capacity and easing of traffic pressure on alternate routes, like the National Highways N-5 and N-55. The Motorway will also reduce distance between major cities. The improved road facility will also reduce the losses due to traffic accidents and shall also ameliorate the traffic safety on the existing relevant road network.
The 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 50 km downstream of Taunsa Barrage. Dera Ghazi Khan is located approximately 120 km upstream of this bridge. The vehicular traffic has to make long detours to reach the other side of the river.
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 tremendously boost the economic growth of areas on both sides of the river besides reducing distance and time of travel.
Bridge is 1.2 km long with 12.2 m width. Approach roads including 14 km towards Zahirpur on N-5 and 16 km towards Mithankot and N-55 are also constructed.