Swat Motorway: Features, Significance & More

Picture showing tunnels on Swat Motorway

This blog is your gateway to discovering all there is to know about this remarkable stretch of highway that not only connects significant cities but also takes you on a journey through some of the most enchanting landscapes in the region. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler, a motorbike enthusiast, or someone looking to explore new horizons, Swat Motorway promises an unforgettable adventure.

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Graana.com provides a detailed overview of the motorway below.


Overview of Swat MotorWay


Motorway NameSwat Motorway (M-16)
Alternate NameSwat Expressway
Length160 km (99 mi)
North EndFatehpur, Swat
South EndNowshera
Managed ByNational Highway Authority (NHA)
Construction StatusPhase-1 completed in June 2019
Phase-2 (extension to Fatehpur) under construction
Key FeaturesFour-lane controlled-access highway
Connects M-1 motorway at Nowshera to Chakdara
Phase-1 HighlightsReduced travel time from Nowshera to Chakdara
Constructed by Frontier Works Organization (FWO)
Cost: Rs. 36 billion (US$120 million)
FundingAsian Development Bank, China, Saudi Arabia
Phase-2 DetailsExtension to Fatehpur (79 km)
Will have nine interchanges and eight bridges
Cost: Rs. 37 billion (project) + Rs. 20.5 billion (land acquisition)
Construction MethodPublic-private partnership (PPP)


Swat Motorway is the latest addition to motorways in Pakistan. It is a large-scale development project of 160 kilometres, which comprises the two-way limited-access expressway. It has multiple lanes to provide convenience to travellers. The project has been completed by the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO), at a total cost of PKR 36 billion.

Starting from Karnal Sher Khan Interchange, M-16 (Swat Motorway) extends all the way to Chakdara Bridge on National Highway (N-45). Phase 1 of the Swat Motorway was completed back in 2019, while its second phase is still under construction.


Features of Swat Motorway

Swat Motorway is a unique project, which consists of 21 bridges and twin tunnels of 1300 metres. Moreover, there are a total of 7 interchanges. The south end of the Swat Motorway starts from Nowshera and ends at Chakdara in the north.

The following are the interchanges on Swat Motorway:

  • Karnal Sher Khan Interchange of M1
  • Dobian Interchange
  • Ismaila Interchange
  • Bakhshalay Interchange
  • Katlang Interchange
  • Palai Interchange
  • Chakdara Interchange


An Alternative Route to Swat Valley


Picture showing Swat Motorway lanes


Previously, travellers used N-45 to travel to the Swat Valley and other places nearby. However, traffic congestion and frequent accidents posed serious threats. With the construction of the Swat Motorway, travellers now have an alternative and much safer route to travel to the districts of Swat, Upper and Lower Dir, and Chitral.

The travel time between Islamabad and Swat before the construction of the M-16 motorway was about 8-10 hours. It has now been reduced to almost three hours. The tourism sector has received a huge boost, as well as the trade sector due to the ease in transport for merchants and traders as well. 


Swat Motorway Extension Phase II

Back in April 2022, the Chief Minister of KPK announced the much-awaited extension of M-16 Motorway Phase 2. After a high-level meeting of the cabinet members and ministers, an official statement was released by the government of KPK.

According to the statement, Sway Motorway Phase will be a 88 km-long route, which will connect the Chakdara region of KPK to Fatehpur. The total cost of the project will be around PKR 58 billion. PKR 6.7 billion has already been released by the government for land acquisition for the development of this mega project.


Swat motorway along mountains


The following interchanges have been planned for the project:

  • Chakdara Interchange
  • Shamozai Interchange
  • Barikot Interchange
  • Takhtaband Interchange
  • Kanju Interchange
  • Malam Jabba Interchange
  • Sher Palam Interchange
  • Matta-Khwazakhela Interchange
  • Madyan Interchange Fatehpur

For more related information, visit the Graana blog.


Is Swat motorway completed?

Yes, Swat Motorway is completed and operational.

What is the name of Swat motorway?

The official name of Swat Motorway is “Swat Expressway.”

How long is swat tunnel?

The Swat Tunnel is approximately 1.7 kilometers long.

How far is Swat from Islamabad in hours?

The distance from Islamabad to Swat by road takes around 4 to 5 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions.


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