As per the comprehensive proposal prepared by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) for the Pune-Mumbai Expressway expansion project, the ghat section between Khalapur and Khopoli exit point will be separated from NH4 (old Pune-Mumbai Highway).
The proposal will be presented before the MSRDC board members, and if approved, will be forwarded to the state government. According to the proposal, the E-way will be expanded in the three phases. In first phase, a tunnel will be constructed from Khalapur to Khopoli exit point.
“As the ghat section is common to both the highways, it witnesses major traffic jams. Besides, heavy vehicles coming from both the highways occupy major portion of the road during the night. Hence, if the common section is separated then we’ll be able to divert almost 50 per cent of the traffic to the old highway,” a senior MSRDC official said.
He added that during the construction of the E-way, the road development corporation had demanded construction of a separate Expressway from NH4. “However, the transport department didn’t give the permission. Thus, the common ghat section became root cause of the major problems that people face on E-way,” he said.
The official also informed that the project would be implanted under Build Operate Transfer (BOT) basis, and hence budget won’t be the problem. Even the toll charges will not increase. “After getting all the approvals, the construction would require a minimum four years,” he said.
He added that in the second phase of expansion, the lanes on the E-way would be increased from six to eight. He said, “An additional lane on both sides of the Expressway will be constructed at the entire stretch. While in the third phase, we plan to add two more lanes to the existing old Pune-Mumbai Highway.”