Swat Motorway: A Comprehensive Guide

A Complete Guide to the Swat Motorway

Pakistan’s infrastructure is quickly expanding across the nation. A number of large-scale initiatives, mainly under the China, Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), have been implemented in the nation to promote bilateral commerce and connectivity. The increased regional connection can only be achieved if the country’s infrastructure is robust enough to accommodate not just domestic but also international travel. While CPEC’s Eastern and Western corridors are being built, the Government of Pakistan is also working on many projects that will link these corridors. One such initiative is the Swat Expressway, which facilitates commerce and tourism.

In this blog, we will examine the Swat Expressway route plan and give you with the most recent information on its construction status.

  • Swat Motorway
  • Swat Expressway Route
  • The Swat Expressway
  • Updates on Swat Expressway

Swat Motorway

Swat Expressway is an 81-kilometer four-lane highway that links Nowshera to Chakdara in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Swat district. The Swat Motorway’s second phase is planned to expand the route to Fatehpur in the Swat area. This project began development in November 2016 and was finished in May 2018. This motorway, also known as M-16, was built to alleviate traffic on the National Highway (NH) 45.

swat motorway

Let’s take a closer look at this route to obtain a clearer picture of regional connections.


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Swat Expressway Route

Overall, the Swat Expressway connects District Swat, Dir Lower, Dir Upper, Shangla, Malakand Agency, Bajaur Agency, and other areas of the Malakand region. This highway connects with Chakdara Road NH 45, which goes all the way up to Kumrat Valley, one of Pakistan’s highest and most picturesque valleys.

This roadway begins in Nowshera at the M-1 Highway’s Kernal Sherkhan Toll Plaza. The M-1 highway is also known as the Islamabad-Peshawar Highway. As it approaches KP, it splits into many routes, one of which is the M-16 motorway. The Rashakai Interchange, located a little farther down on the junction of M-1 and N-45, provides access to CPEC’s Rashakai Special Economic Zone (SEZ). You may simply leave the Rashakai Toll Plaza and tour this industrial complex to observe all of the ongoing construction.

swat motorway

According to the Pakistani government, the following is a preliminary route plan for the Swat Expressway:

The Swat Expressway will include six interchanges: Chakdara, Palai, Katlang, Bakhshalay, Ismaila, and Dobian.

The Swat Expressway

As you travel north on the Swat Expressway, you will pass by many freshwater lakes with views of snow-capped mountains. Villages and farms dot the beautiful green landscape. You won’t come across any factories along the route, which is why these regions have clean and pure air.

This zig-zag highway is at a considerably greater elevation, yet it should be a breeze to drive across. The roadway is completely carpeted and includes many rest stops and recovery areas for travelers. The route is also dotted with many rest stops, providing an excellent chance for families to relax and take in the view.

As you go towards Chakdara, you will pass under Swat Motorway Tunnel 2 first, followed by Swat Motorway Tunnel 1 at Alladand. After passing through these two tunnels, you’ll arrive at Dheri Alladand, where M-16 splits into a smaller route on the right, which is renowned Thana Chowk Bazaar, and on the left, Khan Palo, which leads all the way to Alladand Amandara. The Swat Motorway Toll Plaza is a bit farther away, moving towards Paul Saokaie, a major traffic junction where N-45 and N-95 meet.

swat motorway


The Swat River runs from here and serves as the primary source of irrigation for Matkani Park Tari, a protected area to the left. The primary source of water of this river is the melting of ice on mountains, and it is located in the foothills of a mountain range that extends all the way to the Karakoram Mountain Range. Gulabad Chowk is the final stop on the Swat Motorway before it splits Absanr Road and N-45.

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Updates on Swat Expressway

The Swat Expressway was built in two phases, the first from Nowshera to Chakdara, and the second from Chakdara in Fatehpur. The highway route from Nowshera to Chakdara was recently renovated as well, since the ease of access has resulted in an inflow of visitors (both domestic and foreign) to Swat Valley.

Projects like these are a good development since they assist to facilitate and maintain visitor flow, which is especially important in a nation like Pakistan, where most of the tourism potential remains untapped. Because of the country’s fragmented infrastructure development, particularly in the north, Pakistan’s tourist industry has remained isolated. However, initiatives like the Swat Motorway have the potential to radically transform the tourist industry.

Because of its importance during the past three years, the government of KP has chosen to include it in CPEC projects in the upcoming Joint Coordination Committee (JCC). If included in CPEC, the project would be one of several in the nation that pave the way for inter-regional connectivity. There will undoubtedly be an inflow of visitors if comparable initiatives that improve connection for remote regions in the north are implemented.

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