In 1958, it started as a modest project to provide an all weather road link between Swat and Gilgit which grew into a mega highway project when, in 1966, it was decided to link China with Pakistan through a highway.
kkh--new-2Initially the construction remained limited to a shingled road, with temporary bridges, between Thakot and Khunjerab (about 400 km) and the link was affected in February 1971. In the second phase the limits of the highway were extended up to Havelian, the temporary bridges were replaced with permanent ones and the road widened and carpeted to highway standards. The project was completed in 1978.
The work involved 21 million cubic meter of rock blasting and earthwork, using over 8000 tonnes of explosive and 80,000 tonnes of cement. On the average 15,000 men, 1200 vehicles and 1000 pieces of plant/machinery were employed on the project. During the construction 404 people lost their life and about the same number were seriously injured.