NESPAK has overcome tough challenges and played a key role in the completion of Karakoram Highway Phase-II (Havelian-Thakot), a major connecting project under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), said Dr Tahir Masood, Managing Director NESPAK on Monday. NESPAK is proud to be associated with the project as project consultant [AER – Assistant to Employer’s Representative] as a joint venture partner of leading Turkish consultancy firm M/S Dolsar. The consultancy scope included detailed design review, quality assurance, project monitoring and contract management. Lately, the project has won the best bridge/tunnel award at the 9th annual Engineering News-Record (ENR)’s Global Best Projects competition for its outstanding design and quality construction. The 120 kilometer KKH Phase II (Havelian – Thakot Section) is a flagship endeavor/undertaking carried out as an early harvest project under CPEC Framework. It was successfully completed as per original date on February 2020 at a cost of Rs134 billion. It is recognised as a symbol and real example of Pakistan and China’s all-weather, long-lasting, brotherly and strong relationship. The design review of the project posed a formidable challenge in view of over 100 bridges, 6 tunnels with cumulative length of 8.6 km, extensive hydrological studies and structural evaluation, geotechnical review of deep cuts, high fill sections, state-of-the-art slope protection measures and subsoil data of over 2,000 piles. This being a green field project without parallel access to the alignment, timely quality assurance at the site locations proved to be a tough assignment. NESPAK deployed around 40 plus key/supporting staff during the construction phase of the project. From the local standpoint, the biggest challenge was to restore cross connectivity of villages and communities cut by the fenced alignment. NESPAK being local consultant was well positioned to guide and advise the EPC contractor for necessary remedial measures in coordination with the client (NHA). Presently, NESPAK is carrying out project monitoring during the maintenance phase of the project. The road was divided into two segments i.e., 40km Havelian-Mansehra Expressway and 80km Mansehra-Thakot Class-II Highway. Four interchanges, 112 bridges, 76 underpasses cattle-creeps, 491 culverts, two service areas, 12 flyovers and seven tunnels have been constructed under this mega project. The commercial contract was signed on December 22, 2015, between National Highway Authority and China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC). China Communications Construction Company Ltd. has executed the project.