Eight-lane corridor to reduce Mumbai-Pune commute by 30 mins

The MSRDC has added a new eight-lane corridor to its expansion plans for the Mumbai-Pune Expressway and old highway; it will feature the country’s largest road tunnel network

A faster and smoother ride could be on the cards for those who frequent the Mumbai-Pune route, with MSRDC’s Mumbai-Pune Expressway capacity augmentation plans, which will now also include an elevated corridor between Khopoli and Khandala, making it a 14-lane stretch.

PWD minister and MSRDC chairman, Eknath Shinde, at a site inspection for the R7,000-crore Mumbai-Pune Expressway capacity augmentation project
PWD minister and MSRDC chairman, Eknath Shinde, at a site inspection for the Rs 7,000-crore Mumbai-Pune Expressway capacity augmentation project

The Rs 7,000-crore capacity augmentation project has been in the pipeline for two years, but the Khopoli-Khandala elevated corridor is a new addition to the plan, that should considerably ease traffic once it is completed. The entire project aims at expanding the Expressway and the old Mumbai-Pune highway so that in combination, they provide 14 lanes for motorists.

However, the 12-km Khopoli-Khandala stretch currently has just 6 lanes. To make up for this, the MSRDC planned the elevated ‘Missing Link’ route that could shorten the distance by 4 km and reduce the travel time by 25-30 minutes as well. The highlight of the Missing Link will be the construction of the largest road tunnel network in the country.

“The two tunnels that are approximately 1,620 metres and 7,765 metres long, will be the largest road tunnel network of the country. They are equipped with the latest fire-fighting system,” said Arun Deodhar, advisor at MSRDC.

As the environment ministry and state government are yet to clear the project, the authorities estimate work will commence from mid-2016. “We are fast-tracking the entire process and it will not take more than 4-5 years to complete it,” said PWD minister and MSRDC chairman, Eknath Shinde.

Highlights

>> Trauma centre with air ambulances and immediate medical assistance 
>> Expansion of existing 4-lane old highway to 6 lanes
>> Expansion of existing 6-lane E-way to 8 lanes
>> 12-km elevated 8-lane link between the Khopoli exit and Khandala
>> Road crash barriers on either side of the roads to prevent accidents 
>> No new tolls; existing tolls on both roads will be used to fund maintenance

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