Margalla Avenue: Connecting Islamabad

Overview of Margalla Avenue

They say half of Islamabad’s beauty comes from its spacious roads, while the other half springs from lush greenery and hills that frame them. Among these well-planned routes is Margalla Avenue, a 33-kilometre, six-lane highway. This road enhances the capital’s aesthetics and significantly improves connectivity.

invest with imarat

Islamabad’s emerging city centre

Learn More

In today’s blog, delves into how this thoroughfare is set to revolutionise transportation within the city.


Project Overview


Margalla Islamabad

Margalla Expressway, like most of the popular roads in Islamabad, is renowned for its efficient infrastructure. Before diving into the specifics of this impressive project, let’s explore its overall significance.


Features of Margalla Avenue Islamabad 
Location Islamabad, Pakistan 
Other Names Margalla Expressway 
Length 33 kilometres 
Type Six-lane Highway 
Connected Routes Faisal Avenue (Islamabad Expressway)
IJP Road
Rawalpindi Stadium Road
Project Planned 2006
Construction Started 2012
Managed byCapital Development Authority (CDA) 
Inauguration June 2023


A Brief History of the Margalla Avenue Project


Islamabad's Scenic Beauty

The Margalla Avenue project has had a long and winding road. Initially planned in the 1960s, construction faced numerous delays and hurdles. The Capital Development Authority (CDA) faced challenges in acquiring land and securing funding.  

In 2020, a committee was formed to address outstanding dues with contractors and find solutions to restart the project. Finally, in April 2021, with the groundbreaking by Prime Minister Imran Khan, construction gained momentum. The wait culminated in a grand inauguration by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in June 2023.


A Game Changer for Islamabad’s Connectivity

The completion of Margalla Expressway is a significant development for Islamabad’s infrastructure. Here’s how it’s transforming the city:


Improve Traffic Flow

Margalla Avenue serves as a vital alternative route to the Srinagar Highway, a major artery often choked by traffic. This new highway significantly eases traffic congestion, especially for Sectors E-10 and E-11 residents. Furthermore, it offers a direct connection to the N-5 National Highway.


Improved Access to Key Locations


Margalla Expressway

Again, Margalla Avenue provides easier access to various prominent locations in Islamabad. Residents can conveniently reach Sangjani on the N-5 National Highway and Barakahu on the E75 Expressway. This improved connectivity opens doors for further development and economic activity in these areas.


Boost to Property Values

The construction of Margalla Expressway improves accessibility, which consequently increases the value of property in the surrounding areas. Due to their proximity to this major thoroughfare, sectors like E-17, D-17, and D-18 are likely to see a rise in demand.


Part of the Rawalpindi Ring Road Project

The Margalla Expressway is a crucial segment of the larger Rawalpindi Ring Road project. This ambitious project aims to create a peripheral bypass around Rawalpindi and Islamabad, easing traffic flow between the twin cities.


Margalla Avenue and CDA: Overcoming Challenges


Roads of Islamabad

Margalla Expressway was one of Islamabad’s longest “in progress” projects. Now that it’s completed, the CDA deserves credit for overcoming the longstanding challenges and finally delivering the project. Here’s a closer look at their efforts:

  • Securing Funding: The CDA secured the necessary funding to complete the project despite financial constraints. This demonstrates their commitment to developing Islamabad’s infrastructure.
  • Land Acquisition: Land acquisition is often a major hurdle in infrastructure projects. The CDA successfully addressed land-related issues, paving the way for construction.
  • Prioritising Public Needs: The CDA recognised the importance of Margalla Avenue for the city’s residents and prioritised its completion. This focus on the public good is commendable.


Future Developments on Margalla Avenue

While the main Margalla Expressway is complete, there are ongoing developments to enhance its functionality further:

  • Margalla Avenue – M-1 Motorway Link: A new 3.4-kilometre road is under construction to connect Margalla Expressway with the M-1 Motorway. This will provide a direct link to the national highway network, improving connectivity for long-distance travel.
  • Development of Surrounding Areas: With improved accessibility, the areas surrounding Margalla Expressway are expected to witness significant development. Residential societies, commercial centres, and other infrastructure projects will likely flourish, transforming these suburbs.


Exploring the Potential of Margalla Avenue


Islamabad's serene view

The opening of Margalla Avenue presents exciting possibilities beyond its role as a traffic artery. Let’s delve deeper into this highway’s potential for Islamabad’s future.


Environmental Considerations

Margalla Expressway promises progress, it’s crucial to ensure development doesn’t come at the expense of the environment. Here’s how to strike a balance:

  • Preserving Green Spaces: The Margalla Hills are a vital ecological zone. Strict regulations should be implemented to prevent deforestation and ensure responsible development practices around the avenue.
  • Promoting Green Infrastructure: Planting trees and incorporating green spaces along the highway can enhance aesthetics, mitigate pollution, and create a more sustainable environment.
  • Sustainable Transportation Options: Encouraging carpooling, cycling lanes, and public transport integration with Margalla Avenue can reduce traffic congestion and promote a more eco-friendly commute.


A Catalyst for Tourism and Recreation


Islamabad and Its breathtaking beauty

The scenic beauty of the Margalla Hills makes Margalla Avenue an ideal location for tourism and recreational activities. Here are some ways to capitalise on this potential:

  • Developing Scenic Viewpoints: Creating designated rest stops and viewpoints along the highway will allow travellers to admire the breathtaking Margalla Hills panorama.
  • Promoting Adventure Tourism: The Margalla Hills offer opportunities for hiking, trekking, and mountain biking. Developing designated trails and promoting these activities can attract adventure tourists.
  • Establishing Tourist Destinations: The improved accessibility offered by Margalla Expressway can lead to the development of new tourist destinations, such as eco-lodges, adventure parks, and cultural centres.


Margalla Expressway and Smart City Initiatives


Islamabad Margalla Expressway

Islamabad aspires to become a smart city. Margalla Avenue can play a significant role in this vision by integrating innovative technologies:

  • Intelligent Traffic Management Systems: Implementing real-time traffic monitoring and management systems can optimise traffic flow and minimise congestion.
  • Smart Lighting: Using energy-efficient LED lighting along the highway saves energy and enhances safety during nighttime travel.
  • Digital Signage: Interactive digital signage can give travellers real-time information about traffic conditions, tourist destinations, and nearby amenities.



The completion of Margalla Avenue marks a new chapter for Islamabad. This long-awaited project improves traffic flow and unlocks new economic opportunities for the city. 

The CDA’s dedication to overcoming challenges and delivering this vital infrastructure project is a testament to their commitment to Islamabad’s development. As further developments take shape around Margalla Expressway, the future of Islamabad appears bright, with improved connectivity and a thriving economy.


Frequently Asked Question

Here are some commonly asked questions about Margalla Avenue Islamabad. 


What is the purpose of the new link road project?

The new link road project aims to connect Margalla Avenue in Islamabad with the M-1 motorway. This will provide a more direct route for commuters travelling between these two areas, potentially reducing travel times and congestion.


Why was the construction of Margalla Expressway delayed?

Land acquisition and funding were the major hurdles causing construction delays. The Capital Development Authority (CDA) faced challenges in acquiring land due to disputes and securing the necessary funds to complete the project.


Why was work on Margalla Avenue previously halted?

Construction of Margalla Expressway began in 2012 but faced delays due to land acquisition and alignment issues. Large portions of land were under dispute at the time, preventing progress on the project.


What are some future developments planned for Margalla Avenue?

A 3.4-kilometre link road is under construction to connect Margalla Avenue with the M-1 Motorway, improving connectivity for long-distance travel. The surrounding areas are also expected to see the development of residential societies, commercial centres, and other infrastructure projects.


How many construction companies are competing for the Margalla Avenue-M1 Link Contract?

21 construction companies have expressed interest in the project.


How will Margalla Avenue contribute to Islamabad becoming a smart city?

Like many major routes in Pakistan, Margalla Expressway can integrate with smart technologies like intelligent traffic management systems, smart lighting, and digital signage. This can optimise traffic flow, enhance safety, and provide real-time information to travellers.


What is the benefit of Margalla Avenue?

Margalla Avenue aims to reduce traffic congestion in Islamabad by providing an alternative route to Srinagar Highway. It also improves access to key locations like Sangjani and Barakahu. It is expected to boost property values in surrounding areas.


How can Margalla Avenue be sustainable?

Preserving green spaces around the Margalla Hills and promoting green infrastructure, such as planting trees, are crucial for balancing development with environmental sustainability. Encouraging carpooling, cycling lanes, and public transport integration can also reduce traffic congestion.

For more information on Islamabad’s breathtaking infrastructure, visit the Graana blog


invest with imarat Islamabad’s emerging city
Learn More
Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top