Height barriers will bring traffic jams to a new low on Mumbai-Pune Expressway

The highway police have installed 12-foot barriers on the right of the fast lane to keep out heavy vehicles that slow down traffic on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway

The height barriers are 12-ft-tall and are meant to keep heavy vehicles out of the fast lane. Pic courtesy/Tanmay Pendse
The height barriers are 12-ft-tall and are meant to keep heavy vehicles out of the fast lane. Pic courtesy/Tanmay Pendse

This monsoon, motorists will be spared the never-ending traffic jams on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, thanks to the Highway Safety Police's decision to instal height barriers to keep heavy vehicles from entering the right-hand lane.

The lane on the far right is meant for light vehicles only, as it is a fast lane and has the tightest curves, especially on the Khalapur-Kusgaon stretch. This passes through the ghats and has steep patches and sharp turns that heavy vehicles are unable to manoeuvre, as a result of which traffic slows down. This alone leads to gridlocks stretching 3-4 km, particularly at night, when visibility is poorer.

Now, the highway police have installed barriers similar to those seen at level crossings and toll plazas to keep them out of the right lane. The height barriers have been installed on the highway median, at a height of 12 feet. RK Padmanabhan, additional director general of police (Highway Traffic), and other officials visited the Expressway and inaugurated the height barriers that have been installed on a pilot basis. Independent expert Tanmay Pendse, who studied the 95-km stretch of Expressway and suggested measures to reduce accidents, sent mid-day a spot photo of the barriers.

"I was present at the location where the height barriers were installed, and I think, it is a really good initiative that will help resolve the traffic jams that take place frequently here, especially during the monsoon. This will not only prevent heavy vehicles from entering the extreme right lane, but it will also help emergency vehicles and small vehicles to travel faster," he said.

If the project is successful, there are plans to replicate it at other locations on the Expressway.

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