Maharashtra: 'Missing Link' Of Mumbai - Pune Expressway To Be Ready By Dec 2023, Set To Reduce Travel Time By 30 Minutes
The construction of the 13.3 km' Missing Link' project on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway will be complete by December next year, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said on Thursday (10 November).
The road will connect Khalapur Toll Booth point with Kusgaon, bypassing the Expressway's entire ghat (hill) section.
Shinde visited the Khopoli-Kusgaon section of the project and inspected the ongoing tunnel work at Lonavala near Sinhagad Institute.
"Once ready, it will take less time to travel between the two cities and the entire ghat area will be completely avoided and will significantly reduce the number of vehicular accidents," said Shinde.
"This will be a landmark project in the country, as it has used modern technology which is currently used in some foreign countries. The width of the tunnel is 23.75 meters, making it the widest tunnel in the world. Measures have been taken to prevent fire incidents inside," the CM added.
"The road is expected to be open for use by December 2023," the CM said.
The eight-lane access-controlled 'missing link' project was approved for construction by the BJP-Shiv Sena coalition government in June 2017. The project was entrusted to Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation(MSRDC).
The components of the missing link project include 5.86 km of interchange near Khalapur toll point, two parallel bridges of 900 metres, two sets of twin tunnels, the first set having 1.53km and 1.56km length and another set of 8.82km and 8.78km, parallel cable-stayed bridges of 650 metres length, widening of roads, etc. The second set of tunnels close to 9km in length will be Asia's widest at 23 metres.
Both the tunnels will be around 1,500-meter-long, and the digging for 1,400 meters has been completed.
Navayuga Engineering Company Ltd is executing the tunnelling work, while Afcons Infrastructure Pvt Ltd is handling the viaduct construction.
According to the MSRDC officials, 60% of the work on the project has been complete.
Plans are underway to reduce the travel time between Mumbai and Pune by connecting the under-construction Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) Road with the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.
As per the basic plan, as the MTHL will land in Chirle in Navi Mumbai, six Km of the link will be connected to the Expressway. The commuters will now be able to reach Worli from Pune and vice-versa by avoiding any sort of traffic. Their overall travel time will reduce by over an hour as well.
(With inputs from PTI)
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