Motorists using the National Highway 4 (NH-4) to commute between Mumbai and Pune have good news. If everything goes according to plans, the highway, also referred to as old Mumbai-Pune highway, will get ten flyovers that will ease traffic.

The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has identified 10 junctions on the highway where traffic jams are recurrent. MSRDC has decided to build bridges at the spots, in order that vehicles can reach their destinations faster.

The road agency has invited tenders for appointing a supervision engineer to oversee the execution of the project, which is set to cost Rs 300 crore. MSRDC Chief Engineer Arun Deodhar said, “We had identified 10 busy junctions on the old Mumbai-Pune highway, where traffic jams take place regularly.

In order to provide a hassle-free journey to these motorists, we are going to construct 10 bridges at these busy junctions. Before the actual construction work begins, we will be appointing a supervision engineer for the project so that construction is completed at the earliest.

We have invited tenders for the appointment of a supervision engineer.” The chief task this engineer will be entrusted with is to ensure construction proceeds in a way that doesn’t hamper current vehicular movement. This project has been in the pipeline since 2012.

At present, traffic jams are a major issue on the highway, especially in the ghat section. Many motorists use the NH-4 to reach Lonavla and Pune, since they have to pay lesser toll here. MSRDC has shortlisted around 14 locations, out of which ten will be chosen to build the flyovers (see box).

The bridges will be 300-500 metres long; some of them will come along the intersection on NH-4 between Lonavla and Pune.

Safety first
The structures will also prove to be a safety measure for villagers staying around the highway; these people have to wait for signals at these junctions to cross the highway, and are at risk of being mowed down by cars that jump signals. With the flyovers going over the junctions, villagers can safely cross under the bridge.

It takes 4.5 hours to reach Pune from Mumbai via NH-4. This time is expected to come down to 3 hours 45 minutes, when these structures come up. After construction begins, the project will take three years to completion.