ADB funds $235m expansion of 222km Pakistan National Highway 55
The Asian Development Bank has approved a loan of $235 million to further upgrade National Highway 55 in Pakistan, which is crucial to the countries regional connectivity and strengthen the government’s operation and maintenance of its highway network.
The project will expand the 222 kilometre Shikarpur to Rajanpur section of the National Highway 55 from a two lane highway to a four-lane carriageway.
N55 is part of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Corridor 5, which links Karachi and Gwardar in southern Pakistan to the national and international economic centres in the north.
“This project will increase the capacity of a busy highway section that passes through populous economic centres 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 also includes the construction of bus stops, emergency response centres, and traffic police facilities to ensure road safety enforcement and efficient post-crash response.
The project also aims to help strengthen the traffic capacity of the National Highway Authority by supporting a five-year training program, which was prepared with assistance from the United States Agency for International Development. The training program will cover road project operation, maintenance, design, and gender concerns and will be implemented from 2021 to 2025.
The loan is the second of a multi-tranche facility to provide technical and financial assistance to upgrade N55 and enhance the capacity of the NHA. The first tranche of $180 million was approved in September 2017 and financed the improvement of three sections totalling 143 kilometres in Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces.
Pakistan is a member of the CAREC Program, a partnership of 11 countries to promote economic growth and sustainable development through regional cooperation.
It is supported by development partners including ADB, which serves as the secretariat for the CAREC Program.
The Asian Development Bank is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, the ADB is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.