The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $235 million loan to further upgrade a national highway in Pakistan that is crucial to regional connectivity and strengthen the government’s operation and maintenance of its national highway network.
The project will expand the 222-kilometer Shikarpur–Rajanpur section of the National Highway 55 (N55) from two lanes into a four-lane carriageway. N55 is part of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Corridor 5 which links the ports of Karachi and Gwardar in southern Pakistan with national and international economic centers to the north.
“This project will increase the capacity of a busy highway section that passes through populous economic centers in Sindh and Punjab provinces,” said ADB Transport Specialist Rika Idei. “The project addresses key road safety, climate resilience, and gender-specific needs to ensure users can travel safely, smoothly, and comfortably. This will facilitate the regional movement of goods and people, and support Pakistan’s economic recovery from COVID-19.”
The project will construct bus stops, emergency response centers, and traffic police facilities to ensure road safety enforcement and efficient post-crash response. Bus stops and emergency response centers will have gender-separated facilities and rest spaces for various users, including the elderly, women, children, and persons with disabilities.