The Motorways of Pakistan are a network of multiple-lane, high-speed, limited-access or controlled-access highways in Pakistan, which are owned, maintained and operated federally by Pakistan's National Highway Authority.
Expressways are similar to motorways with lesser access restrictions and are owned, maintained and operated either federally or provincially.
As of December 2013, operational motorways in Pakistan had a combined length of 679.5 km with another 278 km under construction. Another 1,200 km of motorways and expressways are planned over the next 10 years.
Pakistan's motorways are either 6 or 4 lanes, with all 4-lane motorways upgradable to 6 lanes as traffic on them increases.
Pakistan's motorways have a universal minimum speed limit of 60 km/h and a maximum speed limit of 110 km/h for heavy transport vehicles and 120 km/h for light transport vehicles. In sections of the motorway that pass through hilly or mountainous terrain, the minimum and maximum speed limits are reduced.
Access to Pakistan's motorways is restricted to fast moving vehicles only, including high-performance heavy bikes. The motorways are fenced on either side for safety and prevention of unauthorized access by pedestrians, animals and slow-moving vehicles. Pedestrians, bicycles, low-performance motorcycles, animal-driven carriages and other slow-moving vehicles are not permitted on the motorways.
Toll plazas are located on all entry and exit points of Pakistan's motorways and are equipped with a computerized tolling system. Computerized entry cards with magnetic strips are issued at entry points and tolls are levied at exit points depending on vehicle category and distance travelled.
All motorways in Pakistan are prefixed with the letter "M" (for "Motorway") followed by the unique numerical designation of the specific motorway. Each numerical designation is separated by a single numeral, i.e. M-1, M-2, M-3, etc. Expressways are pre-fixed with the letter "E".
|Name & Sign||Course||Length||Lanes||Completion Year||Status||Remarks|
|Peshawar – Islamabad||155 km||6||2007||Operational|
|Islamabad - Lahore||367 km||6||1997||Operational|
|Pindi Bhattian – Faisalabad||54 km||4||2003||Operational||Connects the M-2 Motorway (near Pindi Bhattian) to Faisalabad and the M-4 Motorway|
|Faisalabad – Multan||233 km||4||2014||Under Construction||Under construction since 2009. Faisalabad-Gojra section scheduled for completion in march 2014.|
|Multan – Rajanpur||165 km||4||2017||Planned||Construction planned to commence in 2014.|
|Rajanpur – Ratodero||264 km||4||2017||Planned||Designated the M-6A, construction is planned to commence in 2014.|
|Ratodero – Dadu||150 km||4||2017||Planned||Designated the M-6B, construction is planned to commence in 2014.|
|Dadu – Hub – Liyari||350 km||4||2017||Planned||Construction is planned to commence in 2014.|
|Ratodero – Gwadar||892 km||4||2016||Partially Operational/Under Construction||2-lane Ratodero-Khuzdar section complete and operationalized. 2 lanes nearing completion, 2 additional lanes to be added in future. Work on Gwadar-Turbat-Hoshab section suspended for security reasons. 60-km Shahdadkot - Khuzdar section 80% complete.|
|Hyderabad – Karachi||136 km||6||2017||Planned||Upgradation of existing Super Highway into 6-lane motorway. Construction scheduled to commence in 2014 and to be completed in 4 years.|
|M-9 – N-25 (Karachi Northern Bypass)||57 km||4||2009||Operational||Currently 2-lanes, to be upgraded to 4-lanes|
N/A = Not Available
|Peshawar - Torkham Expressway
|65 km||4||2023||Planned||Will link Pakistan-Afghanistan Border at Torkham with M-1. Construction scheduled to commence in 2018 and completed in 2023.|
|Peshawar Northern Bypass
|32 km||4||2013||Under Construction||Will link M-1 with N-5|
|Peshawar Ring Road||25 km||6||N/A||Under Construction||Orbital expressway around Peshawar
linked to M-1 and N-5
|Hassan Abdal - Havelian - Mansehra Expressway
|110 km||4||N/A||Planned||Via Abbottabad
Will link M-1 and N-5 with Karakorum Highway
|Islamabad – Murree – Muzaffarabad Expressway
||130 km||4||2011/2015||Partially Operational/Under Construction||Islamabad-Murree section operational|
|Rawat – Thalian||29 km||4||N/A||Planned|
|Lahore Bypass||7.5 km||4||2006||Operational||Links M-2 to N-5|
|Lahore Ring Road||85 km||6||2011 (Northern Loop)||40 km Northern Loop Operational
45 km Southern Loop Planned
|Orbital expressway around Lahore
linked to M-2 and N-5. Construction of Southern Loop to commence in 2014
|Lahore – Nankana Sahib Expressway||63 km||4||N/A||Planned|
|Kot Sarwar - Hafizabad – Wazirabad Expressway
|100 km||4||2015||Under Construction|
|Khanewal – Lodhran (Bahawalpur)
|103 km||4||2016||Planned||Construction scheduled to commence in 2014.|
|Ratodero - Daddu - Sehwan
|Lyari Expressway (Karachi)||17 km||8||2010||Operational||Links M-9 to Mauripur Road, Karachi|
N/A = Not Available
Pakistan's motorways are part of Pakistan's "National Trade Corridor Project", which aims to link Pakistan's three Arabian Sea ports (Karachi Port, Port Bin Qasim and Gwadar Port) to the rest of the country through its national highways and motorways network and further north with Afghanistan, Central Asia and China.
Pakistan's first motorway, the 367 km 6-lane M-2, connecting the cities of Islamabad and Lahore, was constructed by a Korean company[Daewoo] and was inaugurated in November 1997 and was the first motorway to be built in South Asia.
The plan to construct Pakistan's second motorway, the 54 km 4-lane M-3, linking the Pindi Bhattian Junction on the M-2 with Faisalabad was finalized in 1996 with an estimated cost of Rs. 8 billion. Initially, it was planned to have 6-lanes, however, due to the shortage of funds, it was decided reduce the number of lanes to 4 with an option to upgrade it to 6-lanes in future. Construction of the M-3 began in May 2002 and it was completed ahead of schedule in September 2003 at a cost of Rs 5.3 billion. It was inaugurated and opened for traffic on 2 October 2003. Two bridges, one over a railway track and the second on a canal, were constructed on the motorway, while three interchanges near Sahianwala, Diyal Garh and Faisalabad were constructed in the second phase.
The M-5 is a planned 80 km long, 4-lane motorway that will link Multan with Dera Ghazi Khan. It will be constructed after the completion of the M-4 Motorway.
The 892 km 4-lane M-8 is under-construction in Sindh and Balochistan provinces. Initially, it will have 2 lanes with a further 2 lanes planned. The 4 lane motorway will be upgradable to 6 lanes. Once completed it will directly link the port city of Gwadar with the rest of Pakistan's motorway network at Ratodero where it will link up with the M-6 Dera Ghazi Khan-Ratodero Motorway.
The current 4-lane Hyderabad-Karachi "Super Highway" is in the process of being upgraded into a 6-lane access-controlled motorway, designated the "M-9". Expression of Interest (EOI) were invited by the National Highway Authority (NHA) in May 2011. The NHA awarded the Rs. 24.93 billion contract to the Malaysian construction company, Bina Puri Holdings Bhd, on Built Operate Transfer (BOT) basis in January 2012. The proposed 136-km long motorway will be completed in three years. The M-9 Motorway will have 7 interchanges, 2 service areas at the midway points and 16 toll plazas on entry and exit points.
Pakistan's Motorways are patrolled by Pakistan's National Highways & Motorway Police (NH&MP), which is responsible for enforcement of traffic and safety laws, security and recovery on the Pakistan Motorway network. The NH&MP use SUVs, cars and heavy motorbikes for patrolling purposes and uses speed cameras for enforcing speed limits.
The M-1 motorway (Peshawar-Islamabad) and the M-2 motorway (Islamabad-Lahore) each include two emergency runway sections of 9,000 ft. length each. The four emergency runway sections become operational by removing removable concrete medians using forklifts. The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has used the M-2 motorway as a runway on two occasions: for the first time in 2000 when it landed an F-7P fighter, a Super Mushak trainer and a C-130 and, again, in 2010. On the last occasion, the PAF used a runway section on the M-2 motorway on 2 April 2010 to land, refuel and take-off two jet fighters, a Mirage III and an F-7P, during its Highmark 2010 exercise.